Monday, June 14, 2010

The Crisis Deepens



Obama plans a fourth trip to the Gulf Coast before making a speech from the Oval Office outlining the position of the White House on the BP oil spill.  News has gotten grimmer and grimmer these past weeks, as the volume of oil spewing out of the Deep Horizon well is now estimated at over a million gallons per day,  based on new spillcam observations, making it by far the worst oil spill in US history.

The President appears to be bearing the brunt of criticism, as Gulf Coast governors question his leadership and coordination efforts.  The same governors who wanted no part of the federal stimulus bill or national health care. 

Meanwhile, BP stocks continue to tumble with revelations of much more oil spilling out of the well head than previously thought, along with very high quantities of methane gas that threaten the invaluable food chain in the Gulf of Mexico.  

5 comments:

  1. As big a supporter as I am of Obama, he does seem to have let this go too long without forcefully stepping in. Not that there's anything he can do about it -- and he does seem to have been dealt a stacked deck on just about all fronts, but ...

    I caught a segment of Bill Maher last night and a writer from Newsweek made the point that other presidents have turned tragedies into major changes of policy through exerting strong leadership. I hope this talk Obama plans to give provides some of that.

    Plus, I think he missed an opportunity to really step in and explain where all this free market stuff leads. Don't want government regulation? Don't want the federal government messing around in your state's business? Don't want to pay taxes to support environmental protection and other public good programs? Well, take a look at what happens when you have eight years of that.

    In some ways, the Bush Administration has been one giant oil spill that Obama has to clean up. Now there's a message I wish he would run with!

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  2. Apparently much of the initial information on the size of this spill was misleading, and I think the White House erroneously thought BP had it under control.

    In the beginning they were talking about 40,000 gallons of oil seeping into the Gulf each day, now experts place that number at 800,000 to 1,6 million.

    It took weeks to really figure out the enormity of the crisis and that BP was apparently clueless as to how to deal with it other than drilling relief wells that won't be ready until August.

    Seems after much trial and error BP has finally capped the leak and is siphoning up a great part of the daily outflow, but the damage is done, as not only oil but huge quantities of methane gas have spewed into the Gulf of Mexico.

    Overall, I give Obama a C. He shouldn't have been so much trust in BP. These guys have a shoddy record when it comes to safety and environmental regulations and should have demanded a full review by leading experts from the start.

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  3. I just wrote that I'd be a little more generous and give him a B-, since hindsight is 20-20. But a C is probably fair. He does seem to have lost his footing on this one, even though there's nothing that he can do to "fix" it.

    This appears to be the great irony of Obama's presidency -- great orator and educator who hasn't been able to apply those tools consistently in the White House. (Of course I'm one of those uber liberals who think that education will solve all ills.)

    Did you see my note about Parsons below? He'd like an invite to join us which I think would be great!

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  4. I sent Parsons an invite. Hopefully, it didn't end up in his spam box.

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  5. Cool! Thanks. If he doesn't show up in a day or two I'll alert him that it's there.....

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