Now that President Obama has already blamed oil company British Petroleum for the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, activists are demanding action. Today, "Seize BP!" protesters will be gathering around the country to advocate "seizure of BP's assets to provide comprehensive compensation and relief for all affected people and for cleaning up the environment." In New York at 5 p.m., they'll be gathering at JP Morgan Chase headquarters on 48th Street, since the company owns 30% of BP's public stock. The group is also urging supporters to sign an online petition advocating the seizure of BPs assets and placing "those funds in trust to begin providing immediate relief to the working people throughout the Gulf states."
While Seize BP! members were preparing to rally, BP execs appeared before a Senate panel yesterday, and were accused of negligence and finger pointing. Lamar McKay, chairman of BP America, said the real fault lied with Transocean Ltd., the rig owner that installed a faulty blowout preventer. Then Transocean exec CEO Steven Newman blamed it on Haliburton's cement pouring, saying, "The one thing we know with certainty is that there was a sudden, catastrophic failure of the cement, the casing or both." Haliburton said they were just following instructions.
Senator John Barass ended the circle of blame by saying, "I hear one message: Don't blame me. Well, shifting-the-blame game doesn't get us very far." President Obama has sent Congress a measure today to help Gulf state residents and businesses affected by the oil spill, and expects most of the $118 million in aid to be paid for by BP.