The response by the Obama administration to the recent oil disaster has been s-l-o-w.
Many people are defending this, saying that since BP had initially estimated the leak to be 1,000 barrels per day as opposed to the more correct estimate of 5,000 barrels, the administration was led to believe it was not that serious.
To that, I say, what’s the difference?
1,000 or 5,000, it should be treated as a worst case scenario.
This administration has plans to use or already has used its power to muscle its way into the business of public and private institutions with impunity.
Now, when a serious accident happens, where the federal government has a responsibility to get involved, act quickly, mobilize its assets, and obtain the best, most comprehensive information it can possibly get, we are lead to believe that this particular administration is willing to take the word of British Petroleum with no follow-up procedures or tools to prove the veracity of this information?
Amazingly hypocritical when one considers just how hostile this administration has been in its demonization of “Big Oil.”
This explosion occurred on April 20th. That was 11 days ago (As of this writing.).
Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security Director, waited until April 29th to designate this as a “spill of national significance.”
A spill of national significance (SONS) is defined as “a spill that, due to its severity, size, location, actual or potential impact on the public health and welfare or the environment, or the necessary response effort, is so complex that it requires extraordinary coordination of federal, state, local, and responsible party resources to contain and clean up the discharge.”
Hell, it took Napolitano until April 30th to get the bright idea to utilize the U.S. Navy.
You know, the branch of the military that operates IN THE WATER?
The U.S. Navy said it will send more than 12 additional miles of inflatable oil booms to the Gulf, as well as seven towable skimming systems and 50 contractors with experience operating the equipment, according to military officials at the Pentagon.
The Navy is making two large facilities available to the Coast Guard personnel and BP-employed contractors who are currently taking the lead in fighting the spill. Military officials said the booms and skimmers were being sent to a Naval construction base in Gulfport, Miss. The Navy also opened its air base in Pensacola, Fla., to the effort.
Simply put, Obama and the responsible parties within his administration did not put forth meaningful action toward the disastrous potential of this accident for 9 days, resulting in an inexcusably lethargic response of possible tragic miscalculations.
From the LATimes:
On April 23rd, 3 days after the explosion, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry said no oil appeared to be leaking from a well head at the ocean floor, nor was any leaking at the water’s surface. But she said crews were closely monitoring the rig for any more crude that might spill out.
The Coast Guard, the virtual “first responders” from our government, had no idea a leak was even occurring.
It was not until April 24th that the Coast Guard recognized the well was actually leaking at least 1,000 barrels per day. Eventually, BP increased that estimate to 5,000 barrels.
From The New York Times:
Adm. Thad W. Allen, the commandant of the Coast Guard, said Friday that he agreed the situation was catastrophic and could continue to unfold for up to three months, but he said he remained satisfied with his team’s response, saying that even if it had initially known that the leak was 5,000 barrels a day, the response would have been the same.
That last sentence effectively blows apart any of the accusations levied toward BP by the administration that they were misled to believe this was not a serious problem, and had limited their initial response.
After being silent on the issue for nearly 9 days, Obama finally publically acknowledged he was aware of the problem:
President Barack Obama says his administration will use “every single available resource at our disposal” to respond to the massive oil spill expected to reach the Gulf coastline within a day.
Obama said Thursday the response could include the Defense Department.
He said the oil company BP PLC ultimately will pay the cost of the cleanup. BP operated the offshore rig that was exploded and sank last week.
Knowing that people, especially (surprisingly) in the media, have witnessed this slow response and lack of urgency by the administration, Obama and his many bureaucratic minions who eventually were dispatched to the area are sure to make each sound bite released consist of a reminder that BP is ultimately to blame for this, and that they will be assuming all expenses incurred by this lean up.
Yes, Obama. We get that. Every time it’s said.
While this may be correct (it will be quite some time before the cause of this and who is responsible is actually known), it does not excuse the fact that the United States Government, under the direction of Obama, should have the biggest oversight role of protecting the environment and attempting to minimize the impact to the region. It is their responsibility to effect every effort towards success.
Though I have no love lost for BP, frankly, it is not their shores which are in danger of becoming covered in crude. It is not their fishing, shrimping, and oyster industries which may be demolished by this disaster. It is not their wildlife which is threatened with death and destruction.
That said, it would be nice if Obama stopped trying to demonize BP at every turn, and accept control of the situation, and show more concerted concern toward the events at hand.
Heck of a job, Barry!