More Questions on the Gulf Spill

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Yet another Senate Committee has launched a probe into the catastrophic spill in the Gulf of Mexico, with some new questions about angles that have yet to be explored in the incident. On Monday, the Senate Finance Committee sent inquiries to the heads of the three oil and oil service companies involved with the rig and to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. The committee’s questions focus both about what happened on the night the rig exploded, and what regulations the rig may have skirted.

A few lines of questioning that are new in the letter from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa): the committee wants to know why the Deepwater Horizon was operating under the flag of the Marshall Islands, as has been reported, and whether that may have been used to avoid US regulations. The letter also asks for a list of all other BP rigs flying under the flags of foreign countries. Grassley also asks for records of “all tax breaks and/or subsidies” that Transocean and BP may have received for the Deepwater operation.

There’s also this bit, which may yield some interesting information about the White House’s relationship with BP:

Also, I have learned that BP sent a letter dated April 9, 2010 to the White House Council on Environmental Quality regarding offshore oil drilling. I would like to more information about BP’s contact with the White House on this matter.

Grassley sent a separate letter to Salazar asking for more information about the oversight from Minerals Management Services (or lack thereof).

Here’s the letter to BP, the letter to Halliburton, the letter to Transocean, and the letter to Salazar.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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