Saturday, July 03, 2010

Oil Spill Clean-Up Incompetence

A point can be made that there is very little the federal government can actually do to plug the gusher of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. What the federal government can do, however, and indeed is the responsibility of the federal government is the clean-up effort along the Gulf coast.

This is an accurate accounting, in my opinion, of how the administration could be doing things differently. On day 73, I read this. Here is a flavor of the main point, the possible reasons for the lack of response:

One possibility is sheer incompetence. Many critics of the president are fond of pointing out that he had no administrative or executive experience before taking office. But the government is full of competent people, and the military and Coast Guard can accomplish an assigned mission. In any case, several remedies require nothing more than getting out of the way.

Another possibility is that the administration places a higher priority on interests other than the fate of the Gulf, such as placating organized labor, which vigorously defends the Jones Act.

Finally there is the most pessimistic explanation—that the oil spill may be viewed as an opportunity, the way White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said back in February 2009, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." Many administration supporters are opposed to offshore oil drilling and are already employing the spill as a tool for achieving other goals. The websites of the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, for example, all feature the oil spill as an argument for forbidding any further offshore drilling or for any use of fossil fuels at all. None mention the Jones Act.

This administration, make no mistake about it, fully intends to do everything possible to kill domestic oil drilling. Carol Browner, EPA czar and protege of Al Gore, has said as much. In The Wall Street Journal (7/3/10) she said, "Maybe this is a sector where you really need large companies who can bring to bear the expertise and who have the where-withal to cover he expense if something goes wrong." She acknowledges a willing acceptance of a lesser draconian energy bill - she calls it "just to get started".

Who is bigger than BP? Not only are they a huge presence in offshore oil drilling, but they are also bold contributors to the Obama agenda. What kind of logic is it that only large companies can drill offshore because something horrible may happen and then it's all about the money? It was the big company in the field that did this current disaster, not one of the little guys. Perhaps it is just standard knee jerk Browner logic. She is an avowed socialist - having joined a socialist movement in her field in her years between the Clinton and Obama administrations - so maybe she just drifts where the wind blows. Maybe she just goes with whatever opinion gets her the job and the pay-off.

Carol Browner - bad for the nation under President Clinton, still bad for the nation. Some things don't change. This is the uber-liberal environmentalist's dream -exploiting a tragedy for her own agenda.

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