Sunday, May 16, 2010

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Needs Adult Discussion



Something sorely missing and greatly needed in today's verbal discourse is some grown up talk. Take, for instance, the talk surrounding the Horizon Deepwater oil spill.

We've read the quotes and heard the quips that span from no one taking full responsibility to those who would shut down offshore oil drilling all together as a response to the oil spill. We've reached crazy town. Most importantly, those living on the coast are suffering and some of it is inflicted by the press coverage. To hear some reports, one would think that the beaches were coated and the natural environment was gone forever.

Those who make their livings on the Gulf coast need your support. Do not cancel your summer vacation yet. Do not stop buying and eating seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. None of that has been affected. Yet. There is no way of knowing what the damage will be but it is not time for irrational action. Why can't we take a breath and keep up with the progress being made? Or not being made.

The dirty little secret is now coming out. Everyone is responsible. Dealing with the tone of the discourse, leadership comes from the top. President Obama was slow off the mark on this disaster and now is in complete cya mode. Understandable after the public reaction to a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina and the federal response to that. However, Team Obama was oddly silent and passive in the beginning. We heard a lot of 'everything is under control' quotes. He made a quick trip to the coast and met with various important people. This was, however, many days after the event. President Bush, after Hurricane Katrina, went to speak at Jackson Square to reassure all of federal commitment much sooner. That is one example that neither party can claim superiority in federal response and reaction. This is now being shown and the Democrats who hated President Bush so viciously that they were willing to slander him on a daily basis are now coming to understand. Or admit.

The president made a statement that is now portrayed by the slobbering press as 'tough' and 'angry' a couple of days ago from the Rose Garden. He said that he was 'not impressed' with the way the executives from the companies involved handled the congressional hearings. Well, Mr. President, it is not for you to be impressed. And, as he lightly chided the federal government's involvement as inadequate, he called for calm civility. Then he bashed the previous administration again. He enjoys a new phrase now. He now says "for the last 10 years or so" when he bashes the previous administration. He has gotten the message that the public is tired of his whining about what he 'inherited'. Sort of. This call for calm action was just a day or so after he went to Manhattan for a big bucks fundraiser and loudly bashed the GOP for entertainment. Where is his own civility?

It is a shame that of all the policies that President Obama has decided to continue from the Bush administration, a civil tone is not one of them.

You can go HERE for a web site of my husband's. He commissioned the Horizon's sister rig in Korea. You can find pictures there that may be informative. The site hasn't been updated in a couple of years but you'll get a glimpse into oil drilling rigs.

Here is a web site on the response activities.

The finger pointing is unseemly at all levels. It is, however, human nature. It would be refreshing if an adult dialogue would begin. Offshore oil drilling is the most regulated and taxed of all American industry. The federal government plays a large part in the operations. This Obama administration has greatly benefited from campaign donations from oil industry coffers, as did its predecessors. Candidate Obama received the most campaign dollars from BP. Surprise! Do not fall for the old meme that it is the evil GOP in bed with energy companies. Energy companies are like any other industry. The people running them and working for them contribute to both political parties.

"You have to come up with assurances to the American people that this won't happen again." That quote from far left Democrat Senator Charles Schumer on a Sunday morning talk show. How absurd. And, how exactly would one do that? There is no such guarantee. Anything run by human beings has a certain amount of human risk.

Deep water offshore oil drilling is the new frontier. It is done far offshore. To compare this tragedy to the Exxon Valdez is to not understand the difference between an oil freighter that hit rocky shoreline and an offshore drilling rig drilling a well. Both accidents. Completely different circumstances. BP doesn't have a stellar safety record and no one is claiming they are fault free. Neither is Transocean, the drilling contractor. Yes, Halliburton had a hand in it as the data collector and testing operation. This will all be sorted out. In the mean time, there is an uncontrolled gush of oil coming from that well. Let's remember the priority.

It would be helpful for all sections of this arena looking for answers to try to remain adult in discussion and deed.

1 comment:

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