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I think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to have been very, very modest,” Tony ['Soprano'] Hayward said.

Sure ThinkProgress has the story of the Alabama teacher who used a hypothetical assassination of Obama in a geometry lesson on ‘angles’ and ‘parallel lines.’ And yes, the front page of HuffPost is all over the conservative evangelical Congressman who filmed an ‘abstinence’ video with his mistress.

But their outrageous behavior has nothing on BP CEO Tony Hayward, who I am officially giving the nickname ‘Soprano’ to because of his callous disregard for human lives and his Goldman-Sachs-esque quest for profits, profits, profits. Indeed, the comparison to Goldman Sachs may be unfair to Goldman, as this stunning video makes clear:

The story says this video was made “at BP’s crisis control centre, Houston, Texas,” which suggests they think having Hayward keeping singing like this somehow helps them control the crisis.

UPDATE: Hmm, Forbes reports, BP And Goldman Sachs Sued For Oil Fraud:

Dozens of small oil and gas producers across Oklahoma and the Midwest are suing Goldman Sachs, BP and ConocoPhillips, claiming the defendants conspired to defraud them out of proceeds for crude oil they delivered just before the collapse of Oklahoma-based pipeline giant Semgroup in the summer of 2008….

“It’s only fitting that here we have the two great vampire squids working in concert” to defraud the little guy, says the attorney

Hayward is apparently completely unaware of the growing realization by everybody else that his monomaniacal quest for cost-cutting, corner-cutting, and profits was the proximate cause of this disaster, which, it must be pointed out, killed 11 people (see Should you believe anything BP says?)

Hayward is also apparently unaware that the underlying causes of the disaster were BP’s recklessness, arrogance, and hubris. See also CEO Hayward says to fellow executives: “What the hell did we do to deserve this?”

Hayward’s comments tend toward the embarrassingly ironic:

“It is impossible to say and we will mount, as part of the aftermath, a very detailed environmental assessment … but everything we can see at the moment suggests that the overall environmental impact of this will be very, very modest.”

Yes, well, BP has for weeks cleverly blocked scientists from gauging the full extent of the undersea gusher (see “Based on video, BP undersea volcano spewing 3 million gallons a day — two Exxon Valdezes a week“).

And BP has used a staggering amount of toxic dispersants to shift the environmental impact from the visible coastlines to the unseen sea column and sea bed (see “Out of Sight: BP’s dispersants are toxic — but not as toxic as dispersed oil” and “BP chooses more toxic, less effective dispersants“).

UPDATE: Propublica reports, “The two types of dispersants BP is spraying in the Gulf are banned for use on oil spills in the U.K.”

But it is shocking that Hayward would make a statement that reveals such a shocking unawareness of — or interest in — the devastation that is already occurring:

  • Loop current is now drawing the BP oil disaster to Florida Keys–Toxicologist: “We could be getting to the point that puts coral over the edge”; Masters: “a major ecological disaster … cannot be ruled out.” NOAA “has shut down fishing in 19 percent of the Gulf over which the federal government has jurisdiction,” 45,728 square miles.

Hmm. Maybe my new comparison isn’t a fair one either: Even Tony Soprano knew what was going on and when to keep his mouth shut.

UPDATE: Under pressure from Congress, BP has released new undersea videos of the gushers. NBC evening news just reported that Steve Wereley, the associate professor at Purdue University, who had told NPR the actual leak rate of the BP oil disaster is about 70,000 barrels a day (3 million gallons a day), says these new videos make him confident the rate is considerably higher.

All four videos released today are here.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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