Sunday, June 20, 2010

Timeline for the BP oil spill

"...before we can work on the problems, we have to fix our souls -- our souls are broken in this nation"
Michele Obama, 2008

I am pretty sure that one day historians will write a long and entertaining story on the BP oil spill - but American people need to know at least some details now. The purpose of this article is to provide fact-based timeline of the BP oil spill, and can be used as an effective weapon against the attempts of mainstream media to misinform the public.

Before I go into details of the oil spill, I want to quote Michele Obama, and her speech about Barack Obama, soon to be US president. This quote look particularly delicious in 2010, when the magic is gone, and the world sees Obama as a great pretender.

"Barack is more than ready. He'll be ready today, he'll be ready on day one, he'll be ready in a year from now, five years from now -- he is ready.""That is not the question." The question is: What are we ready for?""Wait, wait, wait -- because we say we're ready for change, we say we're ready for change, butcha see, change is hard.""Change will always be hard, and it doesn't happen from the top down." "We do not get universal health care, we don't get better schools because somebody else is in the White House. We get change because folks from the grass roots up decide they are sick and tired of other people telling them how their lives will be -- when they decide to roll up their sleeves and work."
But, here's the BIG ONE -- "And Barack Obama will require you to work." "He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism, that you put down your division, that you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones, that you push yourselves to be better, and that you engage.""Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual -- uninvolved, uninformed."

If anything, Barack truly has pushed the nation to learn more about its history and what makes America great. It seems to be that it's now common knowledge that Barack's ideas run contrary to the essense of this nation. Barack's America is not a free, prosperous country - it is just another European style welfare socialist shitholes with Mexican-level corruption.

And now back to the topic at hand.

John Browne, Group Chief Executive, British Petroleum (BP America) Stanford University, 19 May 1997
"There's a lot of noise in the data. It is hard to isolate cause and effect. But there is now an effective consensus among the world's leading scientists and serious and well informed people outside the scientific community that there is a discernible human influence on the climate, and a link between the concentration of carbon dioxide and the increase in temperature.....

"The time to consider the policy dimensions of climate change is not when the link between greenhouse gases and climate change is conclusively proven … but when the possibility cannot be discounted and is taken seriously by the society of which we are part.
"We in BP have reached that point."

2007, BP and Green Energy
"BP announced that it has moved into full construction of Phase One of the Sherbino Wind Farm, a 150 megawatt renewable wind energy project that is roughly 30 miles east of Ft. Stockton, Texas. BP also valued its green businesses in wind, hydrogen, bio-mass, and solar as being worth $5 to $7 Billion, and said it will look at how best to realize that growing value for shareholders. This may be a sale or spin-off, if not look for joint-ventures or partnerships."

BP funds enviromental groups - 2010
“[T]he Nature Conservancy lists BP as one of its business partners. The Conservancy also has given BP a seat on its International Leadership Council and has accepted nearly $10 million in cash and land contributions from BP and affiliated corporations over the years,” Joe Stephens wrote for the Post May 24.

It’s not just Nature Conservancy either, the Post found $2 million in donations to Conservation International and relationships between BP and other lefty activist groups Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Sierra Club and Audubon."

"In September 2008, reports by the Inspector General of the Interior Department, Earl E. Devaney, were released that implicated over a dozen officials of the MMS of unethical and criminal conduct in the performance of their duties. The investigation found MMS employees had taken drugs and had sex with energy company representatives. MMS staff had also accepted gifts and free holidays amid "a culture of ethical failure", according to the investigation."

"BP gave more campaign donations to the Obama campaign in the 2008 election cycle than to any other politician—$71,000 in all—though in total it gave slightly more to Republican candidates. BP also took the step of hiring the Podesta Group, the lobbying firm headed up by Obama confidant John Podesta and his brother Tony, paying the firm $720,000 since 2008. All told, BP has spent just shy of $20 million on federal lobbying over the last two years."

During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records.

"Ramh Emanuel had lived the last five years rent-free in a D.C. apartment of Democratic colleague Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and her husband, Stanley Greenberg... Greenberg's consulting firm was a prime architect of BP's recent rebranding drive as a green petroleum company, down to green signs and the slogan "Beyond Petroleum."  Greenberg's company is also closely tied to a sister Democratic outfit -- GCS, named for the last initials of Greenberg, James Carville, another Clinton advisor, and Bob Shrum, John Kerry's 2004 campaign manager. According to published reports, GCS received hundreds of thousands of dollars in political polling contracts in recent years from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee."

August 2008 - Soros invests in Brazilian oil
Billionaire investor George Soros bought an $811 million stake in Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) in the second quarter, making the Brazilian state-controlled oil company his investment fund’s largest holding.
In November, Petrobras announced the discovery of Tupi, a field with as much as 8 billion barrels of reserves, making it the largest find in the Americas since 1976. Tupi is part of a new deepwater offshore region known as the pre-salt that may contain as much as 50 billion barrels, according to Peter Wells, oil analyst with the UK’s Neftex Petroleum Consultants.

Presidential elections, 2008
"On November 4, Obama won the presidency by winning 365 electoral votes to 173 that McCain received, in the process capturing 52.9% of the popular vote to McCain's 45.7%.

Obama announces the clean up of federal government, December 17, 2008, appoints Ken Salazar as head of Interior Department

"I also want an Interior Department that, very frankly, cleans up its act. There have been too many problems and too much emphasis on big-time lobbyists in Washington and not enough emphasis on what's good for the American people, and that's going to change under Ken Salazar."

Obama added: "I am confident that we have the team that we need to make the rural agenda America's agenda, to create millions of new green jobs, to free our nation from its dependence on oil and to help preserve this planet for our children."

"Together, they will serve as guardians of the American landscape on which the health of our economy and the well-being of our families so heavily depend," Obama said in introducing Salazar and Vilsack as his latest Cabinet picks. "How we harness our natural resources, from the farmlands of Iowa to the springs of Colorado, will speak not only to our quality of life, but to our economic growth and our energy future."

"Salazar, wearing a cowboy hat and a Western-style Bolo tie, said that if confirmed as interior secretary, "I will do all I can to help reduce America's dependence on foreign oil." He said he looks forward to working directly with Obama "as we take the moon-shot on energy independence" and "confront the dangers of global warming."

"Several experts who have worked with Salazar over the years, including gas and mining officials, farm groups and national environmental leaders, said they expect him [Salazar] to support Obama's energy and environmental agenda rather than attempt to set his own policy course. While both Gale A. Norton and Dirk Kempthorne frequently clashed with liberal groups while heading the agency under President Bush, those experts predicted that Salazar is more likely to pursue compromises that might ease tensions over drilling, mining and endangered species protection on public and private land."
New US president, Barack Hussein Obama
"The inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President, and Joe Biden as Vice President, took place on January 20, 2009."

January 2009
"Ken Salazar accepted Obama's offer to join his cabinet as the Secretary of the Interior. The Senate confirmed Salazar's nomination by voice vote on January 20, 2009, shortly after Obama was sworn in as President. As Secretary of the Interior, Salazar is in charge of the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the United States Geological Survey, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and other federal agencies overseen by the Interior Department." From January 2009, Ken Salazar is responsible for oil drilling in the United States of America.

Ken Salazar cleans up MMS - sort of...
"Salazar took over Interior in January 2009, vowing to restore the department's "respect for scientific integrity." He immediately traveled to MMS headquarters outside Denver and delivered a beat-down to staffers for their "blatant and criminal conflicts of interest and self-dealing" that had "set one of the worst examples of corruption and abuse in government." Promising to "set the standard for reform," Salazar declared, "The American people will know the Minerals Management Service as a defender of the taxpayer. You are the ones who will make special interests play by the rules." Dressed in his trademark Stetson and bolo tie, Salazar boldly proclaimed, "There's a new sheriff in town."
"Salazar's early moves certainly created the impression that he meant what he said. Within days of taking office, he jettisoned the Bush administration's plan to open 300 million acres – in Alaska, the Gulf, and up and down both coasts – to offshore drilling. The proposal had been published in the Federal Register literally at midnight on the day that Bush left the White House. Salazar denounced the plan as "a headlong rush of the worst kind," saying it would have put in place "a process rigged to force hurried decisions based on bad information." Speaking to Rolling Stone in March 2009, the secretary underscored his commitment to reform. "We have embarked on an ambitious agenda to clean up the mess," he insisted. "We have the inspector general involved with us in a preventive mode so that the department doesn't commit the same mistakes of the past." The crackdown, he added, "goes beyond just codes of ethics."

February 2009
"In February 2009, Obama put Earl Devaney in charge of tracking stimulus payouts, and since then, the inspector general position has gone unfilled." Mary Kendall was left as an acting Inspector General, even though "acting inspectors general lack “the authority, public standing, and ability to set the agenda that a Senate-approved, presidential appointee brings to the job." In short, no one was watching Minerals Management Services after Obama became president. "Obama has failed to nominate an inspector general for the Interior Department, where MMS is located. In the past, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has been a crucial supervisory body exposing fraud and mismanagement at the agency. "

April 2009
"On April 6th of last year, less than a month after BP submitted its application, MMS gave the oil giant the go-ahead to drill in the Gulf without a comprehensive environmental review. The one-page approval put no restrictions on BP, issuing only a mild suggestion that would prove prescient: "Exercise caution while drilling due to indications of shallow gas."

April 2009 - BP's application approved - even no one reads it at Obama's MMS
"BP claims that a spill is "unlikely" and states that it anticipates "no adverse impacts" to endangered wildlife or fisheries. Should a spill occur, it says, "no significant adverse impacts are expected" for the region's beaches, wetlands and coastal nesting birds. The company, noting that such elements are "not required" as part of the application, contains no scenario for a potential blowout, and no site-specific plan to respond to a spill. Instead, it cites an Oil Spill Response Plan that it had prepared for the entire Gulf region. Among the sensitive species BP anticipates protecting in the semitropical Gulf? "Walruses" and other cold-water mammals, including sea otters and sea lions. The mistake appears to be the result of a sloppy cut-and-paste job from BP's drilling plans for the Arctic. Even worse: Among the "primary equipment providers" for "rapid deployment of spill response resources," BP inexplicably provides the Web address of a Japanese home-shopping network. Such glaring errors expose the 582-page response "plan" as nothing more than a paperwork exercise. "It was clear that nobody read it," says Ruch, who represents government scientists."

"Under Salazar, MMS continued to issue categorical exclusions to companies like BP, even when they lacked the necessary permits to protect endangered species. A preliminary review of the BP disaster conducted by scientists with the independent Deepwater Horizon Study Group concludes that MMS failed to enforce a host of environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act. "MMS and Interior are equally responsible for the failures here," says the former agency scientist. "They weren't willing to take the regulatory steps that could have prevented this incident."

May 2009
The big winner of MMS SAFE award was Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded last month under BP's management. BP was also a finalist at the 2009 conference.

August 2009 - Obama lends billions of dollar to an Brazilian offshore oil company partly owned by
Obama Underwrites Offshore Drilling. The U.S. is going to lend billions of dollars to Brazil's state-owned oil company, Petrobras, to finance exploration of the huge offshore discovery in Brazil's Tupi oil field in the Santos Basin near Rio de Janeiro. Brazil's planning minister confirmed that White House National Security Adviser James Jones met this month with Brazilian officials to talk about the loan.
The U.S. Export-Import Bank tells us it has issued a "preliminary commitment" letter to Petrobras in the amount of $2 billion and has discussed with Brazil the possibility of increasing that amount. Ex-Im Bank says it has not decided whether the money will come in the form of a direct loan or loan guarantees. Either way, this corporate foreign aid may strike some readers as odd, given that the U.S. Treasury seems desperate for cash and Petrobras is one of the largest corporations in the Americas.

February-March 2010
"On Feb. 13, BP told the minerals service it was trying to seal cracks in the well about 40 miles (64 kilometers) off the Louisiana coast".
"By March, the natural gas surges had gotten so bad that BP warned MMS that it had difficulty controlling them. On March 10th, BP e-mailed the MMS drilling director for New Orleans that they were in the midst of a “well control situation,” a result which led a Berkeley engineer to tell Bloomberg that “they [BP] damn near blew up the rig.” That was just a day under six weeks before the rig actually blew up in the Gulf.

"This revelation shows that the disaster was far from unforeseen. In fact, it appears that it had already come close to a catastrophic blowout just six weeks before eleven people died in the subsequent explosion. BP didn’t exactly keep it a secret, either. They informed MMS of the problem, which apparently did nothing to intervene in a situation serious enough that a similar situation caused Exxon to shut down its well in 2006."

"Salazar is a core member of what some environmentalists called a "green dream team" of environmental advisers appointed by Obama shortly after his inauguration. Others include Steven Chu, the energy secretary; Lisa Jackson, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator; and Carol Browner, a White House adviser.

March 31st, 2010 Obama promotes offshore oil drilling
"Obama and Salazar appeared together at Andrews Air Force Base on March 31st to introduce the plan. The stagecraft was pure Rove in its technicolor militaristic patriotism. The president's podium was set up in front of the cockpit of an F-18, flanked by a massive American flag. "We are not here to do what is easy," Salazar declared. "We are here to do what is right." He insisted that his reforms at MMS were working: "We are making decisions based on sound information and sound science." The president, for his part, praised Salazar as "one of the finest secretaries of Interior we've ever had" and stressed that his administration had studied the drilling plan for more than a year. "This is not a decision that I've made lightly," he said. Two days later, he issued an even more sweeping assurance. "It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don't cause spills," the president said. "They are technologically very advanced."

April 20, 2010
"The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion happened on April 20, 2010 on the Deepwater Horizon semi-submersible Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU), situated about 40 miles (64 km) southeast of the Louisiana coast in the Macondo Prospect oil field. The explosion killed 11 workers and injured 17 others; another 98 people survived without serious physical injury. It caused the Deepwater Horizon to burn and sink, and started a massive ongoing offshore oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; this environmental disaster is now considered the largest in U.S. history."

April 20-21, 2010 Obama administration over-rides the scientists and downplays the numbers for the oil spill
"Damningly, the whiteboard also documents the disconnect between what the government suspected to be the magnitude of the disaster and the far lower estimates it was feeding to the public. Written below the federal estimate are the words, "300,000 gal/day reported on CNN." Appearing on the network that same day on a video feed from the Gulf, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry insisted that the government had no figure. "We do not have an estimate of the amount of crude emanating from the wellhead," she said.

"Later in the video, a voice on speakerphone with a heavy Southern accent reveals that government scientists were concerned from the very beginning about underwater plumes of oil – a reality that NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco and BP executives are still seeking to downplay. "They weren't sure how that oil was going to react once it was spilled," the voice says. "Whether it was going to rise, or form layers and start twisting around." The government, in short, knew from the start that surface measurements of the oil slick – on which it would premise its absurdly low estimate of 5,000 barrels a day – were likely to be unreliable."

April 23, 2010 - time for Obama to rest, while the oil is gushing from the rig
"The following day, the Coast Guard – relying on assurances from BP – declared that the spill appeared to be limited to oil that was stored aboard the sunken rig. With a worst-case crisis seemingly averted, Obama checked out, heading off for a long weekend in Asheville, North Carolina, where he and the first lady would stop for ribs at a barbecue joint called 12 Bones Smokehouse before checking into the Grove Park Inn, a golf resort and spa. Asked whether the spill would hamper the president's offshore drilling agenda, spokesman Gibbs made light of the disaster. "I don't honestly think it opens up a whole new series of questions," he said. "I doubt this is the first accident that has happened, and I doubt it will be the last."

"After returning from his vacation, Obama spent Monday, April 26th palling around with Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees, congratulating them on their World Series victory. He later took time to chat with the president of Honduras. When he put in a call to Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi, it was to talk about tornadoes that had caused damage in that state, with only a brief mention of the oil spill. On Tuesday the 27th, Obama visited a wind-turbine plant in Iowa. Wednesday the 28th, he toured a biofuels refinery in Missouri and talked up financial reform in Quincy, Illinois. He didn't mention the oil spill or the Gulf."

April 27, 2010
"It had taken a full week after Deepwater Horizon exploded for the government to become fully engaged – a critical lapse that allowed the crisis to spiral out of control.

"The failure of the Obama administration to crack down on BP – and to tackle the crisis with the full force of the federal government – is likely to haunt the Gulf Coast for decades to come. Oil continues to lap up onshore in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. Pelican rookeries are fouled, their eggs and nests soaked in oil. The region's fisheries – some of the richest in the world – are imperiled; anglers and shrimpers have been barred from more than a third of the Gulf's waters, which may never fully recover from the toxic stew of crude and chemical dispersant now twisting in its depths. The region's beaches are empty, and tourist towns are dying. Administration officials now admit that the oil may continue to gush into the Gulf until August, when relief wells are finally in place. "

April 29, 2010 White House in full panic
"The White House press office organized a show of overwhelming force, with Gibbs convening Browner, Napolitano, Deputy Interior Secretary David Hayes, EPA chief Lisa Jackson and Coast Guard Rear Adm. Sally Brice-O'Hara for a single press conference on April 29th. Though clearly meant to signal engagement, the all-star crew didn't have their message straight. When Brice-O'Hara praised "the professionalism of our partner, BP," Napolitano quickly barked, "They are not our partner! They are not our partner!" For her part, Napolitano revealed that she didn't know whether the Defense Department possessed any assets that could help contain the spill, and referred vaguely to "whatever methodologies" BP was using to seal the well. "

From April 20 onwards
"... Obama administration has instead attacked scientists who released independent estimates of the spill. When one scientist funded by NOAA released a figure much higher than the government's estimate, he found himself being pressured to retract it by officials at the agency. "Are you sure you want to keep saying this?" they badgered him. Lubchenco, the head of NOAA, even denounced as "misleading" and "premature" reports that scientists aboard the research vessel Pelican had discovered a massive subsea oil plume. Speaking to PBS, she offered a bizarre denial of the obvious. "It's clear that there is something at depth," she said, "but we don't even know that it's oil yet."

"Scientists were stunned that NOAA, an agency widely respected for its scientific integrity, appeared to have been co-opted by the White House spin machine. "NOAA has actively pushed back on every fact that has ever come out," says one ocean scientist who works with the agency. "They're denying until the facts are so overwhelming, they finally come out and issue an admittance." Others are furious at the agency for criticizing the work of scientists studying the oil plumes rather than leading them. "Why they didn't have vessels there right then and start to gather the scientific data on oil and what the impacts are to different organisms is inexcusable," says a former government marine biologist. "They should have been right on top of that." Only six weeks into the disaster did the agency finally deploy its own research vessel to investigate the plumes."

May 2010
"The Interior Department’s Mineral Management Service has postponed a Monday safety awards luncheon at which a nominee for two awards was BP -- which operated the oil rig that sank in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening an unprecedented environmental disaster along much of the nation's Gulf Coast. The awards ceremony recognizes "outstanding safety and pollution prevention performance by the offshore oil and gas industry." BP was nominated for its work on the outer continental shelf.
MMS acknowledges bad timing, noting that it's dedicating too many resources to the Gulf cleanup to hold a luncheon. "

May 6, 2010
Obama prohibits all offshore drilling.

May 27, 2010 (one month after the explosion)
"...a team of scientists charged with establishing the gusher's output – announced a new estimate of 12,000 to 25,000 barrels, based on calculations from video of the plume. In fact, according to interviews with team members and scientists familiar with its work, that figure represents the plume group's minimum estimate. The upper range was not included in their report because scientists analyzing the flow were unable to reach a consensus on how bad it could be. "The upper bound from the plume group, if it had come out, is very high," says Timothy Crone, a marine geophysicist at Columbia University who has consulted with the government's team. "That's why they had resistance internally. We're talking 100,000 barrels a day."
May 27, 2010 Evel liberals are asking - who is charge?
Chris Matthews: "This is a national catastrophe and the President hasn't led this fight...There should be a vivid sense that we all have now, who's the President's top kick [sic] on this? Who's running the cabinet on this? Who, every day, is giving us a report on this? Who's the guy or woman who's doing this? There's no sense of that!"

May 28, 2010 Barack Obama finally takes responsibility for the oil spill.
Standing on the sullied Louisiana coastline, he proclaimed: "The buck stops with me."

May 30, 2010
Jindal recounted to 'This Week' host Jake Tapper one instance where BP and federal government bureaucracy got in the way of the cleanup.

"Terrebonne Parish…submitted a plan for 180,000 feet of hard boom. The Coast Guard approved them for 90,000 feet. A week ago Friday, they didn't even have 90,000 feet. They didn't have that much boom, hard boom, in the parish…”

Tapper asked the governor what happened next.

“Well, in that case, they literally had hard boom sitting on the dock and they didn't deploy it,” Jindal said. “There was no excuse. The BP contractor said BP told them not to do it until the oil was coming. NOAA projections showed for days, and we saw the oil ourselves.”

“We finally brought the Coast Guard captain that was in charge of Louisiana's response with us on a National Guard Black Hawk helicopter, showed him the oil on the island, showed him the sheen in the bay, showed him the oil coming into that area, and said this needs to be boomed. He agreed it needed to be boomed,” Jindal said.
The boom was finally deployed.

June 2, 2010, Obama serenades with Paul McCartney.
Luckily, our president does not over-work himself and always finds the time to have fun.

June 11, 2010 Oil experts consulted by Obama administration claimed their recommendations were ignored and misrepresented
"The seven experts who advised President Obama on how to deal with offshore drilling safety after the Deepwater Horizon explosion are accusing his administration of misrepresenting their views to make it appear that they supported a six-month drilling moratorium -- something they actually oppose."
"The experts, recommended by the National Academy of Engineering, say Interior Secretary Ken Salazar modified their report last month, after they signed it, to include two paragraphs calling for the moratorium on existing drilling and new permits."
"Salazar's report to Obama said a panel of seven experts "peer reviewed" his recommendations, which included a six-month moratorium on permits for new wells being drilled using floating rigs and an immediate halt to drilling operations."
"None of us actually reviewed the memorandum as it is in the report," oil expert Ken Arnold told Fox News. "What was in the report at the time it was reviewed was quite a bit different in its impact to what there is now. So we wanted to distance ourselves from that recommendation."
Salazar apologized to those experts Thursday."

June 16, 2010 After two months of inactivity, Obama meets with BP CEO
"President Barack Obama and "very senior" BP officials, including chairman Henric Svanberg and Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward, are meeting this morning in the White House. They will discuss the President's push to create an independent fund that will pay workers and businesses affected by the Gulf oil spill, a spokesman for the company said."
June 18, 2010
  "Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has spent the past week and half fighting to get working barges to begin vacuuming crude oil out of his state's oil-soaked waters. By Thursday morning, against the governor's wishes, those barges still were sitting idle, even as more oil flowed toward the Louisiana shore.
"It's the most frustrating thing," the Republican governor told ABC News while visiting Buras, La. "Literally, [Wednesday] morning we found out that they were halting all of these barges."
Sixteen barges sat stationary Thursday, although they had been sucking up thousands of gallons of BP's oil as recently as Tuesday. Workers in hazmat suits and gas masks pumped the oil out of the Louisiana waters and into steel tanks. It was a homegrown idea that seemed to be effective at collecting the thick gunk. "
Coast Guard Orders Barges to Stop. So why stop now? "The Coast Guard came and shut them down," Jindal said. "You got men on the barges in the oil, and they have been told by the Coast Guard, 'Cease and desist. Stop sucking up that oil.'"
But the Coast Guard ordered the stoppage because of reasons that Jindal found frustrating. The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges. "
"They promised us they were going to get it done as quickly as possible," he said. But "every time you talk to someone different at the Coast Guard, you get a different answer." After Jindal strenuously made his case, the barges finally got the go-ahead Thursday to return to the Gulf and get back to work, after more than 24 hours of sitting idle. "

Two months after the oil spill - No one is in charge
Along Gulf Coast, Governors Ask, 'Who's In Charge?' Sixty days into the crisis, it still can be tough to figure out who is in charge in Louisiana, and the problem appears to be the same in other Gulf Coast states. In Alabama Thursday, Gov. Bob Riley said that he's had problems with the Coast Guard, too. Riley, R-Ala., asked the Coast Guard to find ocean boom tall enough to handle strong waves and protect his shoreline.
The governor said the problem is there's still no single person giving a "yes" or "no." While the Gulf Coast governors have developed plans with the Coast Guard's command center in the Gulf, things begin to shift when other agencies start weighing in, like the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "It's like this huge committee down there," Riley said, "and every decision that we try to implement, any one person on that committee has absolute veto power."

June 16, 2010, Obama makes a speech from the Oval Office - but it falls flat. No more mister "Silver Tongue". The days of Barack Hussein Carter are upon us. Even liberals are unhappy.
"MSNBC personalities Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and Howard Fineman were particularly disappointed. "It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days," Olbermann said, adding, "Nothing specific at all was said... I don't think he aimed low, I don't think he aimed at all. It's startling to have heard this, isn't it?" Fineman agreed: "He wasn't specific enough," and failed to lead as a "commander-in-chief" should.
Even close allies of Obama's in Congress sounded critical notes. "I appreciate the President's attention to the disaster," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said in a statement, "however, the public needs additional assurance that, all aspects of the spill response, from cleanup to claims, are being enforced and coordinated by the federal government." Another senior Democratic congressman, John Dingell of Michigan, said in a statement, "I was disappointed President Obama did not call for an increase in the liability cap. BP made $16.8 billion in profits last year. BP, and oil companies in general, have been making money hand over fist over the past few years - even while our economy falters."
Fifty-seven days into the crisis, oil continues to gush from the broken wellhead, millions of gallons a day, and Obama has been powerless to stem the leak. The sad episode has raised doubts about his leadership and his administration's response to what Obama has called the nation's worst environmental disaster."

June 20, 2010
"The panel appointed by President Barack Obama to investigate the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is short on technical expertise but long on talking publicly about "America's addiction to oil." One member has blogged about it regularly.
Only one of the seven commissioners, the dean of Harvard's engineering and applied sciences school, has a prominent engineering background — but it's in optics and physics. Another is an environmental scientist with expertise in coastal areas and the after-effects of oil spills. Both are praised by other scientists. The five other commissioners are experts in policy and management."

June 22, 2010 Lousiana Judge declare Obama's offshore drilling ban "arbitrary and capricious" and lifts it.
"In stern and unsparing language, a noted federal trial judge in Louisiana Tuesday blocked the Obama administration from implementing its heavily publicized and politically charged sixth-month moratorium on offshore drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon disaster. "

"If some drilling equipment parts are flawed, U.S. District Judge Martin L.C. Feldman wrote in his 22-page order, "is it rational to say all are? Are all airplanes a danger because one was? All oil tankers like Exxon Valdez? All trains? All mines? That sort of thinking seems heavy handed, and rather overbearing." Later calling the moratorium an "arbitrary and capricious" use of the administrative power of the Department of the Interior and the Minerals Management Service, the judge granted a request by several offshore-drilling-related companies for a court order that would allow drilling to continue in the Gulf for 33 licensed operators. Otherwise, he found, those companies would continue to suffer irreparable injuries as a result of the drilling ban.
"[T]he blanket moratorium," the veteran judge wrote, "with no parameters, seems to assume that because one rig failed and although no one yet fully knows why, all companies and rigs drilling new wells over 500 feet also universally present an imminent danger." Worse, he wrote, the Interior Department/MMS report upon which the moratorium was based was fatally flawed. "The report patently lacks any analysis of the asserted fear of threat of irreparable injury or safety hazards posed by the thirty-three permitted rigs also reached by the moratorium. It is incident specific and driven: Deepwater Horizon and BP only. None others." As a result, Judge Feldman wrote, the Court "is unable to divine or fathom a relationship between the findings and the immense scope of the moratorium."

"Indeed, while the government makes light of the fact that several of the experts disagree with the recommendations in the Report by noting that they do not disagree with the findings, of greater concern is the misleading text in the Executive Summary that seems to assert that all the experts agree with the Secretary's recommendation. The government's hair-splitting explanation abuses reason, common sense, and the text at issue."


Anonymous said...

I am amazed at the similarities between the current push for a green economy, and Lenin's push to electrify the soviet union.

KOOK said...

man, when you read it all at once it is so much worse. And I know that is not nearly all of the will be years if ever before we hear all of it