Posted by: Debby Durkee | May 28, 2010

Oil spill culprits and responsible parties.

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Oil spill culprits.

Charles Krauthammer has an interesting question and a new responsible party to take some of the blame for the deepwater drilling which led to the oil gushing in the Gulf of Mexico. This is from the Orange County Register:

…Why are we drilling in 5,000 feet of water in the first place?

Many reasons, but this one goes unmentioned: Environmental chic has driven us out there. As production from the shallower Gulf of Mexico wells declines, we go deep (1,000 feet and more) and ultra deep (5,000 feet and more), in part because environmentalists have succeeded in rendering the Pacific and nearly all the Atlantic coast off-limits to oil production. (President Obama’s tentative, selective opening of some Atlantic and offshore Alaska sites is now dead.) And of course, in the safest of all places, on land, we’ve had a 30-year ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

So we go deep, ultra deep – to such a technological frontier that no precedent exists for the April 20 blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

There will always be catastrophic oil spills. You make them as rare as humanly possible, but where would you rather have one: in the Gulf of Mexico, upon which thousands depend for their livelihood, or in the Arctic, where there are practically no people? All spills seriously damage wildlife. That’s a given. But why have we pushed the drilling from the barren to the populated, from the remote wilderness to a center of fishing, shipping, tourism and recreation?  Snip –

The other culprits are pretty obvious. It starts with BP, which seems not only to have had an amazing string of perfect-storm engineering lapses but no contingencies to deal with a catastrophic system failure.  Snip –

… Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, whose department’s laxity in environmental permitting and safety oversight renders it among the many bearing responsibility, expresses outrage at BP’s inability to stop the leak, and even threatens to “push them out of the way.”

“To replace them with what?” asked the estimable, admirably candid Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander. No one has the assets and expertise of BP…

You can read the rest of Krauthammer here:

Obama: I’m responsible (Not!)

This is quite a takedown from Charles Hurt of the New York Post after President Obama’s press conference yesterday.

In a rare appearance before his adoring fans in the press corps yesterday, President Obama repeatedly took “full responsibility” for the blundering efforts to clog up the geyser of crude oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico coating everything in sight.

At the same time, Obama repeatedly denied that his administration was complicit in allowing the catastrophe to happen in the first place, slow to realize the devastating nature of it, or ham-handed in the five-week effort to try to stem the toxic tide.

In other words, Obama — as he often does — took “full responsibility” for being awesome.

He took “full responsibility” for being, well, nearly perfect. Snip –

Sure, the government has been “scandalously close” to the oil companies, but that was his predecessor’s fault.

Finally relenting, Obama found one area where perhaps their efforts “fell short.”

But even that was actually BP’s fault for not being “fully forthcoming” about the extent of the spill.

This is not taking “full responsibility.” It’s called claiming to take responsibility, but without any of those pesky consequences.

It is the Obama way.

Chris Matthews even compared Obama’s approach to this oil spill to Jimmy Carter’s lackadaisical response to the Iranian hostage crisis (which, among other things, brought down his presidency.)  You can read all of Hurt here:


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  1. If offshore drilling was as poorly planned and executed as the government manned space program, perhaps by now we would have experienced several dozen major oil spills in the gulf.

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