At bat for big oil, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has hit a home run. Testifying before Congress about the Gulf Coast oil spill, Salazar stalls when asked if lifting the moratorium of new offshore oil drilling on the outer continental shelf was worth the projected savings in 2008—supposedly 3 cents per gallon by the year 2030. When asked if the Minerals Management Service, part of his department, underestimated the drilling in the Gulf Coast, Salazar stalls again.
On Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Nation DC Editor Chris Hayes says Salazar’s bloopers are a classic case of deflecting blame and upholding a belief that interrogating those responsible for an environmental disaster only distracts the investigation.
Salazar’s department could have taken preventative measures with MMS if they chose to; instead, Washington teamed up with big oil to create a dysfunctional agency rife with corruption. “They could have [made reforms] if they were serious about reforming [MMS] after day one,” says Hayes.