Now to the opposite of cuts. Over a year after the biggest oil spill in US history and even as criminal investigations continue, BP is still receiving millions of dollars in government contracts.
That’s according to a new story by Jason Leopold at Truthout, who notes that only last week Air BP, a division of the oil company responsible for the oil spill causing problems in the Gulf of Mexico, was awarded a $42 million contract to supply fuel to Dover Air Force Base.
While Leopold was unable to confirm that that fuel was going to supply planes headed to Libya, what he did find was that the contract was given under “unusual and compelling urgency,” which means that the government found the need so important that they limited the bids.
So BP’s not only still getting government largesse; it’s getting preferential treatment—even as other government investigators look into its negligence?
Leopold also reports that twice last year the company violated its probation and faced no serious consequences. Unlike a person, when a corporation violates its probation you can’t just throw it in jail.
All told, BP got fifty-two government contracts worth $56.5 million for fiscal year 2011 while we got oil spills, dead fisheries and $4-a-gallon gas.
Officials have noted that it’s not so easy to debar BP from government contracts while it provides some 80 percent of Defense Department fuel.
So as it was with banks, so it is with BP—Scott Amey of the Project on Government Oversight told Leopold that BP “is a perfect example of a contractor too big to fail."
US Uncut are reminding us that it’s not too late to learn the lesson—some power’s too big to be safe for our democracy. Say US Uncut about the banks—we’d better break them up before they default again. Perhaps we need to add huge contractors to the list that should be shrunk before they hold us all for ransom.
The F Word is a regular commentary by Laura Flanders, the host of GRITtv and editor of At The Tea Party, out now from OR Books. GRITtv broadcasts weekdays on DISH Network and DIRECTv, on cable, and online at GRITtv.org and TheNation.com. Follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on Twitter and "like" us on Facebook.