WikiLeaks Congresssalesman Dana Rohrabacher
News bites: Fears of Gulf seafood remain, Rohrabacher promoted biofuels company on foreign trip, and much more
By Andrew Restuccia
Despite assurances by both state and local officials, some in the Gulf are still unsure about the safety of seafood.
“In the five months since BP’s gusher spilled as much as 200 million gallons of crude off the Louisiana coast, federal and state agencies have repeatedly proclaimed Gulf seafood safe. The state says of more than 800 seafood samples tested, 503 showed no contamination at all, and the others only tiny amounts that pose no threat. Their message: The oysters, shrimp, crabs and fish you crave are safe — dig in. Officials from President Barack Obama on down have done photo ops scarfing Louisiana seafood,” The Times-Picayune of New Orleans reports.
“Yet people remain skeptical. Sales of locally caught seafood are down, and some restaurants still won’t serve it.”
The Associated Press reports that attorneys general in four Gulf states “are urging oil spill victims to consult lawyers before accepting final payments from a $20 billion compensation fund and agreeing not to sue BP.”
“They issued notices to claimants Thursday in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. They warned residents that if they sign away their rights, they can’t come back and get more money, even if they suffer new damage from oil from the BP rig explosion.”
The New York Times reported Sunday that Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) promoted his friend’s biofuels company on a trip to Honduras earlier this year.
“Using his status as a senior Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr. Rohrabacher cheered his hosts in Honduras by openly challenging the Obama administration’s foreign policy agenda there, then arranged a series of meetings with top Honduran officials, including the president, during which the congressman ‘enthusiastically promoted’ the biofuel company’s plans to perhaps set up operations in Honduras, says a State Department summary of the meetings included in the files obtained by WikiLeaks,” the Times says.
“The country was eager to accommodate the congressman — who said in an interview that his actions were entirely appropriate and reflected his activist approach to foreign policy — given that the previous Honduran president had been forced out of office and into exile, and the new government was angling for United States support.”
And The Washington Post takes a look at the “bad news” that could come along with an expansion of ethanol incentives.
“It seems like a great idea: Increase the amount of renewable ethanol from grain at the gas station and decrease America’s reliance on foreign oil,” the Post says.
“But a push to add another 50 percent to the ethanol content of some automobile fuel has opened a barrel of worms. Automakers say they don’t know how it will affect their cars; power-equipment and boat manufacturers are predicting calamitous mis-fueling; and gas station owners are looking at a slew of legal and logistical impediments.”