BP Oil Spill One Year Later: Do-nothing Congress???...Follow the Money

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People were killed. The region's economy is still reeling. The environment continues to suffer. And what does Congress do? Nothing, obviously.

A year after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Huffington Post reports that Congress has not passed a single law to help prevent future disasters. And coincidently, the first quarter fundraising numbers are in, and Politico reports that BP has once again been generous with campaign contributions, largely to the Republican leadership in the House.

From the Huffington Post: "The opposition to new legislation that requires stricter oversight largely stems from the anti-regulatory zeal of conservative lawmakers and from the influence of the oil industry, say congressional staffers from both parties. In 2010, the oil and gas industry spent more than $146 million to lobby the federal government and donated $28 million to federal campaigns, according to the Center for Responsive Politics."

From Politico: "The company at the center of the storm in last year’s Gulf of Mexico spill sent out its first checks for the 2012 election cycle in March totaling $29,000. They went almost entirely to the campaigns of a handful of House Republican leaders."

It's actually not fair to say that Congress hasn't done anything. As a matter of fact, as the Huffington Post story notes: "the House Natural Resources Committee recently passed bills to accelerate the offshore drilling permitting process and open up new areas to drilling."

Instead of passing common sense safety and regulatory measures, this Congress continues to do the bidding of BP and Big Oil, who just happen to be filling up campaign coffers and engaging in intense lobbying. One wonders how the families so deeply affected by the BP oil spill feel about that. One thing they know for sure, as long as BP et al continue to buy access and influence in the halls of Congress, that's exactly who our elected officials will be accountable to.

Click here for the Politico story.

For the Huffington Post story, click here.