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Wonkbook: An Elena Kagan primer; oil spill beats containment dome; Europeans agree on mega-bailout

800px-Elena_Kagan_1.jpg

If a tree falls in the forest and it's the tree that everyone expected to fall, does it make the evening news? We'll find out later today, when Barack Obama nominates solicitor general Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. (And props to Mike Allen, who broke this story a couple of days ago!) The political line on Kagan is that the left won't love her and the right won't filibuster her. She's got experience in government, in academia, and in the private sector, but in contrast to every other member of the Supreme Court, she has not served as a judge. Consequentially, her written record is surprisingly thin. Which is not, of course, the same as nonexistent. Read on for a full Kagan primer.

Oh, and welcome to Wonkbook.

Agenda

House: Not in session.

Senate: Debate continues on financial regulation, but no votes scheduled.

White House: Look for a 10am news conference announcing Elana Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court.

Top Stories

Kagan, Kagan, Kagan, Kagan! "President Obama plans to nominate Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be the 112th justice of the Supreme Court," report Anne Kornblut and Robert Barnes. "Kagan, 50, the former dean of Harvard Law School, would become the fourth woman to serve on the high court; if she is confirmed, the nine-member court will have three female justices for the first time." They've also got this graphic timeline of Kagan's career: http://bit.ly/9JtQxg

SCOTUS Blog's comprehensive backgrounder on Elena Kagan: http://bit.ly/d0zJSJ

Tom Goldstein's look at the 10 potential points of controversy: http://bit.ly/9rvV5g

Europeans announce 'Shock and Awe' bailout to stabilize the Eurozone: "The European Union agreed on an audacious €750 billion bailout plan in an effort to stanch a burgeoning sovereign debt crisis that began in Greece but now threatens the stability of financial markets world-wide," report Stephen Fidler and Charles Forelle. "The money would be available to rescue euro-zone economies that get into financial troubles, the diplomats said. The plan would consist of €440 billion of loans from euro-zone governments, €60 billion from an EU emergency fund, and €250 billion from the International Monetary Fund."

"The giant bailout package reflects the gravity of the crisis gripping Europe and growing fears that the situation may grow so dire as to hamper the fragile rebound in the global economy. It would also cast aside long-held notions that each EU nation should manage its own finances, opening an era in which members of the common currency take on unprecedented responsibilities for each others' fiscal troubles."

Containment dome fails to stop oil spill: "BP at the weekend lowered a 40-foot-tall (12 meter) steel chamber over the oil leak about a mile below the surface," report Edward Klump, Mark Chediak and Aaron Kuriloff, "hoping to capture the 5,000 barrels of crude oil leaking each day and pump it to a ship. The effort failed when an icy mixture of gas and water near the seafloor clogged the chamber, forcing the company to remove it and study how to stop the ice forming before trying again."

Team CoCo interlude: Conan O'Brien gives a talk at Google.

Table of contents: A variety of takes on Elana Kagan; What Ben Bernanke thinks about happiness (plus other economic news); a variety of takes on Audit the Fed (plus other FinReg news); and sex, drugs, and relationships with industry executives in the agency charged with regulating offshore drilling.

Kagan

Evaluate her as a dean, not an academic: "The skills of a good administrator are very different from those of a good scholar," writes Ilya Somin. "A reclusive, difficult to get along with person, can be an outstanding scholar but would be a disaster as an administrator. Contrariwise, a skilled manager and politician who is not an original thinker would make a poor scholar. But so long as he values and recognizes original thought in others, he could be an excellent dean. To return to the case of Kagan, there is little doubt that she was an excellent dean. She successfully hired numerous top scholars in many subfields, and from across the political spectrum. Under her tenure, Harvard arguably managed to surpass Yale and Chicago as the law school with the most productive faculty (I say this despite the fact that I’m a Yale Law grad, and a longtime admirer of Chicago). At the very least, she did a great deal to regain the ground that Harvard lost to its rivals in the 1980s and 90s."

"She did this in part by pushing for the hiring of top conservative scholars like Jack Goldsmith and John Manning. In a hiring market characterized by a degree of hostility to non-leftwingers, productive right of center scholars were an undervalued asset similar to the undervalued high-OPS hitters that Beane relied on in his early years with the A’s. More generally, Kagan fostered by word and deed an atmosphere of openness and ideological tolerance at a a school that previously wasn’t exactly well known for either. She deserves special credit for achieving all this at an institution with a famously difficult to manage faculty and at a time of harsh ideological conflict in society as a whole."

Lawrence Lessig makes the liberal case for Kagan: "My case for Kagan depends of course upon believing that Kagan has the right views. Obviously, my read of Kagan's politics comes from my personal experience, and I hope it is obvious that I wouldn't say someone should believe this about her merely because I say it."

"I believe there's an aspect to Kagan's experience that sets her apart from others on the short list. Kagan has had practical strategic experience. Her most important work over the past two decades has been in contexts where she has had to move people to see things as she did. And through that experience, she has developed a sixth sense for the strategy of an argument. She matches that insight with a toughness that can get what she wants done. That doesn't mean triangulating. It doesn't mean "compromise." It means finding a way to move others to the answer you believe is right." http://huff.to/c4XOGI

Glenn Greenwald makes the liberal case against Kagan: "Why is it seemingly impossible to find even a single utterance from her during the last decade regarding the radical theories of executive power the Bush administration invoked to commit grave crimes and other abuses? It's possible that she said something at some point, but many hours of research (and public inquiries) have revealed nothing -- other than when she endorsed the core Bush template during her Solicitor General confirmation hearing." http://bit.ly/b2MO0u

Stephen Bainbridge makes the conservative case for Kagan: "I don't know very much about Elena Kagan other than that a couple of Harvard folks for whom I have a lot of respect think highly of her. When I look at some of the lefties who are opposing her and their reasons for doing so, however, I'm tempted to conclude that she's the most acceptable--from my perspective--candidate Obama is likely to put forward for the SCOTUS. You can tell a lot about a person from who their enemies are." http://bit.ly/9XK21u

Jonathan Strong makes the conservative case against Kagan: "As the dean of Harvard’s law school, Kagan fought to bar military recruiters from the university’s campus," he writes. "Her reasoning? Even with two wars in progress, she contended, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell should disqualify the US military from having any association with the school. 'I abhor the military’s discriminatory recruitment policy,' she said, describing it as a 'moral injustice of the first order.' Critics say Kagan’s legal arguments on the matter are so preposterous that they raise doubts about her ability to serve on the bench."

Kagan has argued that nominees should provide detailed answers during the confirmation process: "Kagan is on record calling upon the Senate to demand more — much more — from prospective Supreme Court nominees," notes Jonathan Adler. "Indeed, she wrote a law review article about it, 'Confirmation Messes, Old and New,' 62 U. Chi. L. Rev. 919 (1995), in which she argued that probing questions about a nominee’s views were not only appropriate but essential. According to Kagan in 1995, the Senate should ask — and demand answers — about both a nominee’s 'broad judicial philosophy' and 'her views on particular constitutional issues' including those 'the Court regularly faces.'"

Slow-cooking interlude: Thomas Keller teaches you to sous vide.

Economy

Recession worsens employment gap: "The recession is showing that even a college degree isn't enough to close the stubborn employment gap between white and black Americans," reports Sudeep Reddy. "In April, the nationwide jobless rate for white college graduates, ages 25 and older, stood at 4%, according to the Labor Department. The rate for college graduates in the same age bracket who identify themselves as black or African-American was 7.4%. And that gap—3.4 percentage points—has widened since the recession started in December 2007, when the comparable figure was 0.9 percentage point."

The mood on Wall Street: "Investors hate uncertainty, but uncertainty — lots of it — is what they are facing," reports Christine Hauser. "Add to that Thursday’s white-knuckled ride and the result, for some, is a case of high anxiety that could cause more wild market swings."

Republicans oppose bailout package for Greece: "House Republican Conference Vice Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) warns the effort could lead to future bailouts of larger struggling countries such as Portugal and Spain," reports Ian Swanson. "McMorris Rodgers said Greece should tighten its own belt. If other European countries want to help a fellow European Union member, it’s one thing, she said. But U.S. taxpayers should not be asked to contribute through the IMF.
She noted that the U.S. isn’t asking Europe to help bail out indebted U.S. states such as California."

Federal Reserve triumphantly cashing out? "Having waged a battle against financial mayhem for the past two years, the Federal Reserve is tentatively declaring victory," writes Daniel Gross. "As it guaranteed debt and swapped cash for all sorts of assets, the Fed's balance sheet grew -- from about $850 billion in assets before the crisis to about $2.3 trillion this spring. The binge included the purchase of $1.25 trillion of mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac...The Fed is discussing how to sell off these new assets. The prospect of the Fed dumping hundreds of billions of dollars of bonds and mortgage-backed securities onto the market has unsettled some market watchers. But they shouldn't worry -- too much."

Ben Bernanke's commencement speech at the University of South Carolina: "I always find it difficult to choose a topic for a commencement talk. I am an economist, but my experience has been that people in a celebratory frame of mind are usually not that interested in an economics lecture. (I can’t quite understand why not.) Instead, they are generally looking for something more personal and inspirational. So I thought I would split the difference between an economics lecture and inspirational remarks and speak briefly about what economics and social science more generally have to say about personal happiness, and what those ideas imply both for economic policymaking and the choices each of you will make as you leave college for other pursuits."

"We all know that getting a better-paying job is one of the main reasons to go to college, and achieving economic security for yourself and your family is an important and laudable goal. But if you are ever tempted to go into a field or take a job only because the pay is high and for no other reason, be careful! Having a larger income is exciting at first, but as you get used to your new standard of living, and as you associate with other people in your new income bracket, the thrill quickly wears off. Some interesting studies of winners of large lottery prizes, even in the millions of dollars, found (as you would expect) that they were happy and excited on learning that they had won. But only six months later they reported being not much happier than they were before they won the lottery. The evidence shows that, by itself, money is not enough. Indeed, taking a high-paying job only for the money can detract from happiness if it involves spending less time with your family, stress, and other such drawbacks." http://bit.ly/aU7gdn

Meet the new president of SEIU: "In her decades of organizing, Ms. Henry became a master practitioner of the labor strategy that companies hate most: corporate campaigns," reports Steven Greenhouse. "In one major success, she led a four-year corporate campaign against Catholic Health Care West, a chain of California hospitals, branding it antiworker and lining up the support of several Catholic bishops. That campaign led to unionizing 17,000 workers at 27 hospitals."

Does Greece show how the welfare state dies? "The welfare state's death spiral is this: Almost anything governments might do with their budgets threatens to make matters worse by slowing the economy or triggering a recession," writes Robert Samuelson. "By allowing deficits to balloon, they risk a financial crisis as investors one day -- no one knows when -- doubt governments' ability to service their debts and, as with Greece, refuse to lend except at exorbitant rates. Cutting welfare benefits or raising taxes all would, at least temporarily, weaken the economy. Perversely, that would make paying the remaining benefits harder."

"Greece illustrates the bind. To gain loans from other European countries and the International Monetary Fund, it embraced budget austerity. Average pension benefits will be cut 11 percent; wages for government workers will be cut 14 percent; the basic rate for the value-added tax will rise from 21 percent to 23 percent. These measures will plunge Greece into a deep recession. In 2009, unemployment was about 9 percent; some economists expect it to peak near 19 percent."

Live, from New York, it's Saturday Night! interlude: Betty White's tasty muffin.

FinReg

Wall Street lobbyists spending all their time fighting Lincoln's spin-off proposal: "Cory Strupp, who represents Wall Street in Washington, spent the last six months lobbying for more than two dozen changes in the derivatives chapter of the Senate’s financial legislation," report Binyamin Appelbaum and Eric Lichtblau. "He has spent the last two weeks focused on one: eliminating a new provision that would require banks to leave the lucrative business of derivatives trading...Mr. Strupp, who works for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, a Wall Street trade group in Washington, said that he generally has only 30 minutes to sway a senator or aides. He said he now uses almost the entire time to argue that banks should retain the right to trade derivatives."

Bernie Sanders responds to charges that he 'sold-out' Audit the Fed: "The primary changes [to Sanders' amendment] include more explicit language on the purview of the one-time audit—setting a firm time window for the review, from Dec. 1, 2007 to the day the legislation is signed into law, if it passes," reports Meredith Shiner. "Additionally, the new amendment was narrowed in scope so that the GAO, which will conduct the audit, is not allowed to look into the discount window or interest rates."

"'What I want is in this amendment, all right?' Sanders said with a hint of frustration. 'Would I like to go further, sure? Would I like an ongoing investigation ordered of the Fed? Sure, I would. But 99 percent of the American people, they're interested in what's happened since the financial crisis—and that's in the amendment.'"

Chair of Philadelphia Fed takes aim at audits: "The objective of these audits is not transparency of policy per se, but to influence policy in real time," he said.

Amendment coming to bar banks from betting against customers: "Lawmakers are considering legislation that would ban investment banks from betting against their customers in many circumstances, in a further ripple effect for Wall Street from Goldman Sachs's troubles," reports John McKinnon. "In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, Sen. Carl Levin (D., Mich.) said he is drafting legislation to prevent conflicts of interest by 'prohibiting companies from taking the opposite side of the deal for their own account,' at least when they are marketing investments they have created themselves."

Allan Sloan's "six simple steps to fix Wall Street": http://bit.ly/cJRZPA

Environment

Lindsey Graham bails on climate bill: "Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the chief sponsors of a nascent plan to address energy and climate change in the Senate, said Friday that the proposal had no chance of passage in the near term and called for a “pause” in consideration of the issue," reports John Broder. "But his two co-sponsors, Senators John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, vowed to press forward with a broad energy and global warming plan next week...But Mr. Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said that the current political climate had made it impossible to consider such a difficult subject."

Gulf Coast tourism industry advertising for sympathy: "Gulf Coast tourism boosters face a quandary: They need to keep hotels, casinos and beachfront bars humming," reports Michael Phillips. "But what to say about that huge oil slick swirling just offshore? From Louisiana to Florida, local authorities are urging travelers to ignore the headlines and head to the coast, pitching it as charitable. 'Although the level of actual environmental and economic impact cannot be realized until the spill is capped and possibly reaches our shores, your visit will help to ensure that our local tourism economy—which is a cornerstone to our growth—remains vibrant,' a regional tourism group, SouthCoast USA, said in a statement this past week to travel writers, travel websites and area tourism bureaus."

Sex, drugs, and relationships with industry executives: "For years, the Minerals Management Service, the arm of the Interior Department that oversees drilling in the gulf, minimized the environmental risks of drilling," writes Paul Krugman. "It failed to require a backup shutdown system that is standard in much of the rest of the world, even though its own staff declared such a system necessary. It exempted many offshore drillers from the requirement that they file plans to deal with major oil spills. And it specifically allowed BP to drill Deepwater Horizon without a detailed environmental analysis."

"Surely, however, none of this — except, possibly, that last exemption, granted early in the Obama administration — surprises anyone who followed the history of the Interior Department during the Bush years. For the Bush administration was, to a large degree, run by and for the extractive industries...Given this history, it’s not surprising that the Minerals Management Service became subservient to the oil industry — although what actually happened is almost too lurid to believe. According to reports by Interior’s inspector general, abuses at the agency went beyond undue influence: there was “a culture of substance abuse and promiscuity” — cocaine, sexual relationships with industry representatives, and more."

Indie interlude: What do you think of the new Wolf Parade?

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Closing credits: Wonkbook compiled with the help of Dylan Matthews. Photo by Doc Searls.

By Ezra Klein  |  May 10, 2010; 7:49 AM ET
Categories:  Wonkbook  
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Next: Who is Europe really bailing out?

Comments

I'm going to go with the Stephen Bainbridge argument on Kagan. While I disagree with Kagan's position against military recruitment on campus 100%, that really says nothing about her ability to adjudicate. There's no indication from that--making an administrative decision about what is appropriate for a school--as to how she will interpret law.

I like Wonkbook. I've been unplugged all weekend, as if often the case, and I can quickly get up to speed . . . thanks to Ezra Klein's Wonkbook™!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | May 10, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

"These measures will plunge Greece into a deep recession."

I think the problem here is governments treat recession as a bad word. If your credit card balance was increasing $1000/month and you were buying goods and services from your neighborhood, there would be a recession when the profligate spending came to an end after you missed a payment. It's a necessary adjustment. The recession is not bad, it was the boom created by deficit spending that caused the problem that was bad. A return to a sustainable level of deficit spending and growth is not a downward spiral, it's building your economy on a sound foundation.

Posted by: staticvars | May 10, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

the spill has been going on for many days now....and there is still no centralized administration response for information on it, and it is being left to the media to cover it.
i read that the booms dont work at all if there is a choppy sea, with high waves. the oil is carried right over the booms. then i read that they may dredge part of the mississippi.....then, i read yesterday that bp cannot be trusted with the figures they are giving for the amount of oil escaping.
there is no centralized government response in disseminating information on a disaster has been unchecked for weeks now.
a whole region of our country is economically affected by this now, just as the tourism season begins....people will be scared to eat seafood...just yesterday, people were making jokes about the seafood at the mother's day dinner.....and our fragile marine eco-system is being affected, everyday that this cant be fixed.
yesterday, i read that an snowy egret landed near a group of people, and its face was covered with oil.
this is a story that deserves more direct and accurate coverage...not just hearsay, and "experts" opining.
why dont we receive information on this in a clear and analytical way everyday from a government spokesperson.
and also, i just read that bp has spent 350 million dollars so far. that is a low figure, and if that is all they have spent so far, then they are not trying hard enough, in my opinion.
and did anyone think that lego tower was going to work?
it looked like a farm silo. they just did something to look like they had a clue had to fix something.....that is what it looked like.
and if all bp has spent so far, then let them start a reparation fun for the poor workers in the fishing,seafood and tourism industry....and an ecological cleanup fund, for the millions it is going to take repair these damages.
thank you.

Posted by: jkaren | May 10, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

sous-vide, the cheap way: http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/04/cook-your-meat-in-a-beer-cooler-the-worlds-best-sous-vide-hack.html

Posted by: rglvr | May 10, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Stavicars,

Agreed, recessions aren't neccesarily always bad in every way. While Greece would see a recession after cutting public spending, once the economy rebounds it will end up stronger than before. Lots of current spending is almost certainly a misuse of resources.

I do think the deep recession expectation suggests that Greece isn't going to get out of this mess. If that forecast turns out anywhere close to accurate - unemployment jumping to 19% - the economy is going to shrink substantially. Let's assume that they are able to raise taxes high enough to offset the lost revenue from the economic contraction - that means they're going to have to come up with spending cuts equal to 9% of GDP - can you imagine the U.S. trying to cut spending by $1.3 trillion over three years? And even that would only get them to 4% budget deficits - the next recession puts the budget deficits back at 7%-9% and they're halfway back to square one. Germany isn't going to put up with this forever.

Greece is almost certainly going to default at some point. They should just let Greece default now, Greece won't be able to borrow and it will be forced to adopt a sustainable budget plan.

Posted by: justin84 | May 10, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

But for the stupidity of deregulation this mess might have been avoided.

Roll the opening credits....

MGM PRESENTS
ANDY HARDY GETS A CLUE

The Camera fades from black onto a house in a pleasant neighborhood in the mythical Midwestern town of Carvel. The home is the residence of kindly Judge Hardy and his family. The scene dissolves into the interior of the Judge's study. He is sitting in his leather-bound chair in front of the fireplace, concentrating on a small stack of legal briefs which are placed on his lap. There is a quiet knock on the door. "Come in", he says. From camera left enters the Judge's fifteen-year-old son, Andy Hardy:

Andy Hardy: Dad? I was wondering if we could have a little talk, you know, man to man.

Judge Hardy: What is it, Andrew?

Andy Hardy: I've been thinking a lot lately about deregulation.

Judge Hardy: In what way, son?

Andy Hardy: Well, Dad, I'm starting to think that deregulation might not have been a really neat idea.

Judge Hardy: No sh*t, Sherlock.

http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

Tom Degan

Posted by: tomdeganfrontiernetnet | May 10, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

and a case in point....

whenever we have a health scare with a disease or pandemic fears, the head of the center for disease control holds frequent press conferences and is readily available to give updates and to inform the public.
and there is no similar response to this unchecked spill, even though, each day, it is getting worse for our ecosystem, bp is now soliciting good ideas from anyone who might have them, as if it is a contest, and they have caused this, and are now the ones we are relying on for accurate information, approaching the beginning of the tourism season, and these poor folks will be in a "katrina" situation, and people are now becoming confused and fearful of eating seafood from that area. soon, comedians will be making jokes about shrimp with four eyes, and turtles without shells, but it wont be funny. what is going to happen from the dispersant....it would be like someone spraying over our homes with some toxic substance.
this situation is worsening, it doesnt look like it is getting better, so it needs to be addressed as such.
we need the same kind of response as the administration provides when there are national health concerns, in my opinion.

Posted by: jkaren | May 10, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I still cannot imagine a bigger more important new story than the BP Oil spill disaster that is affecting the lives and livelihoods of Millions of people.

A senior BP executive testified to Congress that the ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico could conceivably spill as much as 60,000 barrels a day of oil, more than 10 times the estimate of the current flow.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/05/us/05spill.html

---------

BP and Halliburton's History of Criminal Negligence should be more than enough to prove they deserve to pay the $10+ Billion/year for however long it takes to repair this Disaster and restore Multi-Billion dollar Industries and the Lives and Livelihoods of everyone affected, from businesses to Shorefront Property Owners.

Require Drillers to be Insured for Worst case Scenario ($50~100 Billion to start from the looks of this accident). If you cannot get insurance because of the way you are doing business now, or because you are using Halliburton Cost cutting low quality Cementing, then you shouldn't be in our waters.

The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund supported by industry fees should be raised from $1 Billion to $50 Billion. Current Drillers should be subject to new Insurance and Safety Regulation requirements. No more Oil Drilling exemptions from detailed Environmental Impact Studies.

Drill-Baby-Drill Politicians defeated Safety Regulations Requiring Secondary Relief Wells, Remote Acoustic Triggers for Shut Off Valves, corrosion resistant Carbon Fiber Reinforced pipes, and High Quality Cement Sealing requirements; many of which are standard safety requirements in Canada, Brazil, and Norway.

We should have the Highest Safety Standards in the World as we have the most valuable resources to protect.

Posted by: liveride | May 10, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Why on earth are you uncritically quoting Robert Samuelson's tired, MadLib rant against the "welfare state"? The guy is nothing but an un-credible mouthpiece for the plutocratic haves that want to make certain that the 1% that control 50% of American wealth don't have to give up even a piece of that.

Posted by: JRoth_ | May 10, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Kevin, I agree with your point about Kagan's actions at Harvard. In particular, I hope that whenever her ban on military recruiters comes up, and then the Supreme Court decision disagreeing with her, someone says, "Yeah, and she followed the Supreme Court's decision." The Supreme Court ruling against you doesn't always mean you were wrong to do what you did. The Court's job is to clarify laws so people can make the "right" decision going forward.

Posted by: MosBen | May 10, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Elena Kagan lost Citizens United (corporations have first amendment rights); Salazar v. Buono (cross may be raised on government land, et al. Yes, I think you have point that liberals may be disappointed by her.

Posted by: Reesh | May 10, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I was sorry to see Krugman to include so much bad information in his piece, and I'm sorry to see Ezra Klein repeat it here.

For instance, that "backup system" - the unproven remote device - is not standard in much of the world and is required by only two countries. And MMS never declared the remote device as "necessary," it stated that backup systems in general were "an essential component of deepwater drilling systems." It didn't require the device because rigs already have redundant backup systems. Of course requiring it wouldn't have helped in this case anyway, as the BOP went with the blowout.

And as to those exemptions from environmental reports:

" MMS set out rules that allow for the exemptions from some environmental requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) as long as the sites in question are not relying on new or unusual technology, or within high seismic risk areas, or within the boundaries of marine sanctuaries or in regions with hazardous bottom conditions. MMS also assesses the impact on biological and archeological resources.

In the gulf, Smith said, MMS has a 'wealth of environmental data' from studies of the region that it can rely on when reviewing the requests from the energy firms."

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/05/07/93761/despite-spill-feds-still-giving.html#ixzz0nHZx6xD7

Oh and by the way, it was not the regulatory or oversight divisions of MMS that were involved in the scandal, but the separate royalty/contract division.

There are surely many criticisms to be made once the full story is known. Just making stuff up doesn't help anything.

Posted by: zuzu2 | May 10, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

grump

What, people complained about the masked links in the email version, so your response is to mask links in the online version as well? (Thankfully, though, not all of them.)

/grump

Posted by: KarenJG | May 10, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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