Obama’s Spill Commission Co-chair has Ties to Oil

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Rachel Maddow makes an excellent point here. With all the people in the US to lead the bipartisan National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, why did President Obama pick a Republican with ties to the oil industry?

William K. Reilly was the head of the Environmental Protection Agency from 1989 through 1992. But now he’s on the board of ConocoPhillips, DuPont (which creates products for the oil industry, among other things), and the Texas-based electric utility company, Energy Future Holdings.

ConocoPhillips in particular is not without a stake in this investigation. The company has a partnership with BP on exploration in another region of the Gulf, as well as joint venture with BP on the Alaska natural gas pipeline. It also has leases for exploration in the arctic, in a region whose fate will likely be decided by this panel.

Reilly is also the former president of World Wildlife Fund. But still—couldn’t Obama, who just yesterday criticized the “far too cozy” relationship oil companies have enjoyed with the government, find a Republican who didn’t have ties to the industry for this key post?

If you appreciate our BP coverage, please consider making a tax-deductible donation.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up to $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate