The array of liberals stepping up to the plate is quite impressive, really. CBS's Katie Couric, NBC's Brian Williams, ABC's Diane Sawyer, even Chris Matthews and James Carville. Note how Carville still manages to blame BP, though:
"I think they actually believe that BP has some kind of a good motivation here," he said. "They're naive! BP is trying to save money, save everything they can... They won't tell us anything, and oddly enough, the government seems to be going along with it! Somebody has got to, like shake them and say, 'These people don't wish you well! They're going to take you down!'"
That's right, Mr. Carville, it's those mean old oil executives taking advantage of poor little Obambi. He just doesn't know any better and is being hoodwinked by those big, bad oilmen.
After literally decades of the left castigating the oil industry as satan incarnate, we are now supposed to believe that they think BP et al are our saviors when it comes to the worst oil spill in our history? A spill caused by their lax safety precautions and shortcuts, let's not forget. And now we're supposed to buy that our far-left administration is putting all of their faith in the oil companies?
And no, I'm not saying the government should be capping the well - that is not their area of expertise. But they certainly could be doing more to protect our shoreline and try to control the damage instead of dumping it all in BP's lap - let them concentrate on capping the well first. Unfortunately, the well is only half the problem. The other half is the damage to the shoreline, and this is something the feds should be tending to. This requires mass mobilization in multiple states, and so far there is nothing indicating that is happening. The administration needs to step up and get in the game in more than a finger pointing capacity.
After all, BP wasn't alone in the "shortcuts", and there is supposed to be an action plan at the ready. According to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (emphasis mine):
§4202 Strengthens planning and prevention activities by: (1) providing for the establishment of spill contingency plans for all areas of the U.S. (2) mandating the development of response plans for individual tank vessels and certain facilities for responding to a worst case discharge or a substantial threat of such a discharge; and (3) providing requirements for spill removal equipment and periodic inspections.
That law has been in effect for 20 years, and yet, in the Gulf region, there was a major shortage of boom that took weeks to be remedied. Shouldn't there have been some sort of stockpile, considering the number of deep water oil wells in the Gulf? There is legislation on the books that require federal and state readiness. So why weren't they ready? In all fairness, of course, that critique does not just rest solely on the Obama administration, it encompasses every administration since 1991, but why did no one check to see if there were booms while the rig was still on fire? You know, a 'what if' scenario - also known as a 'contingency plan'.
At least there is some attention being paid to the issue now. There are already accusations and hearings, but all of that political clap-trap needs to be put aside. This is a major disaster, not a political football.
Time is of the essence, and they have now wasted 36 days. Accusations and comparisons to Katrina and Bush's response time, etc., etc., etc. can wait. Control and clean up first, point fingers later. Chris Dodd's ham handed attempt to place the blame for this disaster at Bush's feet is not only laughable, it's a complete waste of time. And with this thing, we just don't have the time to waste.
The fire raged for 4 days before the rig sank - four days that should have been spent prepping for a leak as well as fighting the fire. When the oil started to creep towards shore, the administration should have responded to Gov. Jindal's requests to build artificial sandbars offshore of Louisiana's barrier islands. Jindal finally was forced to give a presser where he announced that he was just going to do it, whether the EPA approves or not. The damage dredging would do to the environment is minimal in comparison to the oil decimating the fragile marshlands. The rewards outweigh the risks on this one, and hopefully Gov. Jindal's plan will work.
What's really amazing is the deafening silence from the environmental community. Hello? Are you seeing what is happening? Where is the outrage? 36 days. Absolute radio silence. They must be on an eco-retreat. It seems that to these liberal organizations, it comes down to a choice between supporting the cause or supporting the politics, and politics seems to win out every time. To these people, circling the wagons to protect politicians is more important than their precious environmental causes.
Every time I see the live shot of the oil billowing out of that well, unchecked, it is like a knife to my heart. As a Floridian, I lament the potential destruction of the coral reefs that encircle my state. I have spent many, many happy hours snorkeling in that gloriously clear water and discovering the wonders of the reefs. I think too about the lush wetlands that will take years, possibly decades to return to normal and the huge loss of wildlife, from fish to fowl and everything in between
If the administration and the press can't get concerned over wetlands and animals, how about the people and economies of the impacted states? Louisiana was finally recovering from Katrina, but tourism and fishing are their main industries. Both will be decimated by this disaster. Those who take their living from the sea are, for the most part, private individuals, not large corporations. This is not only going to have a major impact on the state's economy, it is also going to have a huge impact directly on the lives of private citizens who now have no means to (literally) put food on the table.
The impact of this event will not be fully understood until the well is capped. With a lot of luck, the "Top Kill" method that is underway as I write will be successful. Once the "damn hole" is plugged, then all efforts can turn to clean-up. If it doesn't work, we're looking at another month before a relief well can be drilled. Another month of oil gushing into the Gulf unchecked. What a horrifying thought.
I have to say that I am utterly stunned by the lack of reaction on this crisis. We are always the first to any disaster; it's who we are as a nation. At least, that's how we were until about a year and a half ago. Since then, we have responded admirably (and generously) with crises in other countries with lots of Presidential attention, money and press coverage. Unfortunately the "response" (and I use that term loosely) by the White House and the press to domestic crises has been extraordinarily...underwhelming.
Perhaps they should look upon this spill as what it is - a global disaster. Water isn't stationary, it flows. So, too, then does the oil within it. Once it hits the Gulfstream, Gof forbid, it will impact the entire eastern seaboard and possibly Europe and West Africa. Maybe the thought of all that oil and tar washing up on, say, Cuba might get their sympathy. Or perhaps it should be framed as a chance for them to show the rest of the world all of the fabulous ideas they have for cleaning up the planet. Or haven't they gotten any further in their plans than 1.) collect money to pay for eco agenda?
You'd think the feds would love to jump in here and make a big presence. Think about all of the legitimate jobs they could create with clean-up efforts stretching over multiple states, if nothing else! Let's not forget the major PR for, if not quick, at least a thorough response.
Instead, they are using the opportunity to have hearings and push Sen. Kerry's (D-MA) newfangled Cap and Trade bill. Can't let the crisis go to waste now, can we guys?
Why fix a problem when you can just exploit it in order to pass an agenda and then drop it like a hot potato to move on to the next item on the checklist?