On May 27, 2010, President Obama held a press conference for the first time in 10 months to address the BP Oil Spill which continues to rage in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the livelihood of thousands of fishermen as well as devastating the ocean for years to come.

Obama actually took responsibility for the blatant corruption in the Government Agencies which have been wined and dined by Big Oil, resulting in a complete lack of oversight to the practices which have allowed BP and other Oil giants to evade proper regulations which ultimately are designed to prevent catastrophes like this from happening.

I have to applaud the President for actually admitting that his administration bares some culpability in perpetuating and continuing the practice of allowing our tax-funded agencies to be unduly influenced by the same industries that they are paid to regulate.

For too long, for a decade or more, there’s been a cosy relationship between the federal agency that permits them to drill, it seems as if permits were too often issued based on little more than assurances of safety from the oil companies. That cannot and will not happen anymore.

I am somewhat skeptical however. I am fully aware that the Bush Administration (and to a lesser extent, the Clinton Admin. before that) made coziness with industry an art-form, yet Obama ran a campaign two years ago that promised to clean up the corrupt practices of W, yet he perpetuated the same practices up until the BP Oil Spill catastrophe brought it to the forefront.

Perhaps even more dubious is the fact that this was Obama’s first press conference in 10 months — it might have been much longer had the BP oil spill not forced his hand. Denying direct access to the press was a hallmark of the Bush Administration — a practice Obama promised to change — yet it took a major environmental disaster to force the President’s hand to address the media.

Obama also insisted that BP will be fully on the hook for paying the costs of the cleanup, though this seems a bit hollow as BP will not suffer the devastating consequences of their environmental disaster and the loss of livelihood for so many fishermen and others who depend on the Gulf to sustain a living. That burdon falls on the American people.

What’s more, the issue of why BP’s offshore oil drilling operations in the Gulf were left out of a sweeping environmental impact study last year was not addressed by the President. So far, the few members of the press that have had the audacity to ask about this, have been given the runaround by administration officials.

I would honestly like to believe that President Obama is sincere when he tells us, the American people, that the culture of our government enabling, and perhaps promoting corporate greed will be dealt with. I know full well that the sins of the previous administration were inherited by Obama, yet so far, he has given nothing other than his word that these previous patterns of corruption will change; yet a year and a half into his term, little actual action has been taken.

After the speech, Obama took questions from the press corp and recent revelations that Joe Sestak was pressured not to run against lifetime Republican recently turned Democrat Arlen Specter in the PA Democratic Senate primary were among the questions asked.

Here is a question and Obama’s response:

Q …Secondarily, can you tell the American public, sir, what your White House did or did not offer Congressman Sestak to not enter the Democratic senatorial primary? And how will you meet your levels of expressed transparency and ethics to convey that answer to satisfy what appear to be bipartisan calls for greater disclosure about that matter? Thank you.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: The — there will be an official response shortly on the Sestak issue —

Q From you?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: — which I hope will answer your questions.

Q From you, sir?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: You will get it from my administration, so — and it will — it will be coming out — when I say shortly, I mean shortly. I don’t mean weeks or months. With respect to the first —

Q Can you assure the public it was ethical and legal, sir?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I can assure the public that nothing improper took place. But as I said, there will be a response shortly on that issue…

Well, I’m glad to know that we have Obama’s assurances that nothing improper took place. I will be quite interested to hear his administration’s official response to these allegations. It seemed odd at the time that Obama supported the right wing Specter over Sestak, who has a great track record of promoting and supporting pro-environment and pro-union/worker legislation among other actual progressive causes.

I applaud President Obama for talking tough in regard to the BP Oil disaster in the gulf, but until this talk actually manifests into actual action and real reform, I will still refuse to give the President the benefit of the doubt as he has proven thus far to be running his administration in the same manner as the one before.

Image created from: Obama Picture; BP Picture