Tuesday, June 01, 2010

BP's Influence Peddling

BP's crisis holds both danger and opportunity. Who will profit inside Washington's political beltway? How much cash will BP have to pump into lobbying and public relations firms?

BP hired The Brunswick Group for public relations. Brunswick packages and sells access to the Obama White House through Business Forward. BP's new head of U.S. Media Relations came from Brunswick.

Lobbyists for BP include Blue Tony Podesta and Red Ken Duberstein. The Podesta brothers profitably worked both sides of health reform, while Duberstein paved the regulatory road for Fannie Mae's financial debacle.

BP's lobbying expenditures for their firms:

Duberstein Group
2009 - $400,000
2010 - $100,000

Podesta Group
2009 - $320,000
2010 - $60,000

Nonlobbyist influence peddler Tom Daschle sits on the advisory board of BP America, Inc.

Who will remain BP's friend as oil sops the Gulf Coast and heads toward Key West? How much will the price go up and who will benefit?

BP must be breathing a sigh of relief with Obama's appointment of William Reilly, CononcoPhillips board member, as co-chair of the Oil Catastrophe Commission. BP and ConocoPhillips have joint ventures in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska.

Earlier this year, ConocoPhillips paid BlueWater Strategies to lobby Congress. One issue was permitting for the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. William Reilly holds the key to future drilling. That smells like opportunity to Beltway bandits. Ignore the odor of toxic distillates.

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