Make no mistake, this is an environmental disaster of epic proportions, and should be treated as such. BP should be held responsible for whatever their negligence was. Congress and the Administration should examine how this happened, and what we can do to prevent this in the future. But it should be noted that offshore drilling of this kind has been in place for 40 years with few problems. It’s wrong for the Administration to use this crisis as a platform not for cleaning up the mess; but rather as one to threaten, bluster and seek to advance parts of their agenda.
If the Administration were serious, they’d be leading, much like Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. Governor Jindal has had to wait weeks for federal waivers, assistance and supplies. He finally decided he’d had enough and is proceeding, in some cases without assistance or permission. He’s protecting his state while President Obama does photo ops.
That’s why for the people closest to the disaster, over 65% of his constituents approve of Governor Jindal’s handling of the spill, while only 30% approve of President Obama’s inaction.
But this isn’t the whole story. Part of their inaction has also been because of their special interest friends. You see, the Obama Administration could have waived something called the Jones Act, which is a party of a 1920 law that prohibits foreign ships from assisting in this type of crisis. The fact is many foreign countries have technology to clean up oil spills that exceed our own. We should be taking advantage of their offers to help. Now why would we not waive this Act, as was done just 3 days after Hurricane Katrina by President Bush? Because the single biggest proponent of the Jones Act is also the single biggest donors to President Obama and Democrats in Congress – Big Labor.
Then to add insult to injury, the President Obama announced two actions that, instead of helping clean up the mess, will lead to bigger problems.
First, he declared a moratorium on offshore drilling for wells more than 500 feet deep. According to a Senator from his own party, this could cost as many as 330,000 jobs and will surely cost hundreds of millions of dollars in increased costs to consumers and businesses.
According to the Minerals Management Service, Offshore drilling on the Outercontinental Shelf accounts for 27% of our domestic oil production. And that has been shut off, with no plan in mind to deal with the job loss and increased costs that will follow.
And now, he is using the crisis to revive his failed energy Tax/Cap and Trade scheme.
As the White House Chief of Staff said about another crisis “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste — and what I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.
So what we have here is inaction and failed leadership, coupled with political opportunism and special interest paybacks. That’s not the kind of leadership Americans need or deserve.
Published on 18 June 2010 by RyanH in Press Releases.