Republicans are “shamelessly” defending and “trying to reward” the petroleum industry even with “thousands of barrels of oil still gushing into the Gulf,” a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) claims in a press release sent to RAW STORY.
“If weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve learned one thing in recent months, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s that whenever thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a special interest with billions of dollars in profits at stake, we can count on Republicans to rush to their defense,” Reid spokesman Jim Manley said in the statement. “You can set your watch by it.”
The statement continues,
Today, with thousands of barrels of oil still gushing into the Gulf, Republicans are shamelessly protecting oil companies from accountability for their greed, recklessness and negligence. Not only are Republicans trying to block Democratic efforts to ensure that oil companies Ã¢â‚¬â€œ not taxpayers Ã¢â‚¬â€œ pay for the damage they cause, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re actually trying to reward oil companies with a $47 billion giveaway. And the Republican energy Ã¢â‚¬ËœplanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ released earlier this week is a grab bag for oil companies that would continue the same flawed energy strategy that led to the environmental and economic disaster in the Gulf.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The American people would be a lot better off if Republicans spent their time working with Democrats to hold BP accountable and ensuring that a disaster like this never happens again, instead of repeatedly protecting Big Oil and every other corporate special interest under the sun.Ã¢â‚¬Â
On the other side, commentators have drawn parallels between Obama’s handling of the slick, and his predecessor George W. Bush’s botched management of Hurricane Katrina that devastated the same coastline in 2005.
Political warning signs over the disaster are proliferating.
A recent CBS News poll showed only thirty-eight percent of Americans approve of the way the administration is dealing with the spill.
A Washington Post/ABC survey revealed more Americans disapprove of Obama’s response to the oil spill than disapprove of Bush’s Katrina performance.
Although Obama has been to the Gulf three times since the April 20 rig explosion that unleashed the worst oil spill in US history, some critics charge he has been slow to lead.
But he rejected that criticism in the interview taped Monday, telling NBC that “what I do have is dedication and commitment to make sure that people affected by this are going to get the best possible service from me.”
And Obama said he is not focused on whether or not the disaster leaves him politically damaged.
“I’m not concerned about my politics right now. What I’m concerned about is what’s happening in the Gulf.”
(with AFP reports)