President Obama gave an Oval Office speech on June 15th, ostensibly about the gulf oil disaster. He started with the unoriginal, propped it up with the untrue and wandered on to the unworkable, unlawful and un-American. On the up side, he only lectured us for eight minutes (though as usual, it appears the most repeated word in the monologue was “I”).
Obama announced – or, rather, repeated – that he will make BP pay for the cleanup of the Gulf oil spill. It’s good to know, for the fifth or sixth time, that he will go along with existing law, the lease agreement and BP’s stated intent. He also re-reasserted that he has been on top of the disaster since “day one”. Unfortunately, the day to be on top of drilling safety was sometime BEFORE the suspicious explosion and sinking of Deepwater Horizon on April 20th. Obama put his own appointees, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Mineral Management Director and Mineral Management Service Director Elizabeth Burnbaum on the job over a year ago. If they had been enforcing laws in effect at that time, the disaster might have been averted and would certainly have been handled better after the fact.
There is nothing that says Bush’s people were doing any better, but under Obama, the nation’s worst spill occurred and continues. Under Obama, Salazar and Burnbaum, regulators were taking bribes, falsifying reports on inspections never conducted and (bureaucratic favorite) downloading porn on their government computers. Safety equipment was not checked. Mandated response gear was not acquired, maintained, or used. There was a scramble to beg other countries for special floating booms to conduct oil-burning and save coastlines. Weeks late, some burning was begun, reducing the amount of oil that could impact fishing grounds and coastal wetlands. Under pressure from “ecologists”, Obama’s EPA discontinued it, condemning uncounted animals and plant systems to death.
Stockpiles of regular booms were left forgotten in distant warehouses. Chemical dispersants were requested, argued about and dismissed. Funding for construction of sand berms to trap oil was deferred for weeks, and then only a quarter of them were approved. Netherlands, Norway and other countries with oil skimming ships and experience were turned away because unions would not like wavers to the 100 year old, protectionist Jones act. If only standing orders and common-sense proposals were carried out, the amount of damage would have been drastically reduced, regardless of the success or failure of capping efforts.
Yet, Obama was in control of the problem from “day one”. Between fundraisers, hosting sports celebrations, golf-dates, photo-ops and other critical affairs of state, he announced weeks ago that talking to BP President Tony Hayward would not be “productive”. But in his speech he told us that he would order BP to place $20 billion into a government-controlled escrow. Never mind that no authority exists to force them to do any such thing without a court order. Never mind that, while BP obviously bears primary responsibility for the spill, $20 billion is a random number far beyond the $75 million required by law. Then again, when Obama summoned BP to the White House on Wednesday, they actually signed it over to those that shepherded TARP, “Stimulus” and bailout trillions into thin air.
So BP was the primary offender (unless somebody finds evidence [unlikely 40 miles out and a mile down] of some sort of attack or sabotage) and is responsible for the cost of cleanup. However, to think that their guilt goes beyond laziness or cutting corners to save money, or imply that this is some sort of willful act, is foolishness. To assert that BP is trying to delay the capping of the leak, or to slow or thwart the cleanup is insanity. They lose millions of dollars in productivity and incur higher costs in remediation every day that this goes on.
Obama then revised geology and history, telling us that the U.S. only possesses 2% of the world’s oil and the lack of oil had driven drilling into deep water. The fact is, America has more oil than Saudi Arabia, though only 2% is developed. Our coal and gas reserves are even larger. However, “ecologists” have increasingly restricted drilling on-shore and in-shore, where most of our oil is located. As a result, oil rigs have been driven off the continental shelf and into deep water where dealing with any emergency is nearly impossible. Despite this, there have been no major spill events for decades, and bringing in oil in tankers has been far more wasteful and polluting.
Nonetheless, Obama has ordered a six-month stoppage of all gulf oil rigs. Supposedly for an “inspection”, these platforms could have been inspected and back in service in the intervening 8 weeks, had they been ordered right away. The six month shutdown is essentially punishment for the rest of the oil industry, and piling on misery for the already suffering coastal economy. It wail also cause the owners of these floating rigs to relocate them in "friendlier" waters where they can resume productivity. They cannot afford to leave them "parked" where they are not allowed to produce. So, when Obama's specious six months are over, so will be meaningful drilling (and countless jobs) in the gulf region. Americans will pay dearly as a result: petroleum will be more expensive and more of it will be imported in tankers.
The President fired and replaced his MMS chief. His choice? A long-time yet cutting-edge mining and drilling expert, with geology doctorates up the wazoo. Just kidding. In a standard-issue Obama "management" move, he appointed Michael Bromwich, a Harvard attorney with no more clue about oil drilling than of quantum physics. Keep in mind: this is not some inspector general or investigator, but the day-to-day head of the agency. Never fear, though; he has worked with Holder and others on several anti-Constitutional and/or anti-Capitalist projects.
As a grand finale, Obama seized the crisis and announced that “only if we act quickly” can we cripple the rest of American energy, give control of the industry (along with health, banking, manufacturing, etc) to an already bloated and eternally debt-ridden government. He actually proposed the discredited, Socialist, climate-fraud “Cap and Trade” scam that science, economics and the American people dismissed months ago. With no viable energy alternatives in place for years to come, Obama will simply put his "boot on the throat" of American energy. This would bring about his campaign promise of making energy costs "necessarily skyrocket". It will also crush productivity and jobs in all areas and industries. He has been pushing the international "climate justice" fraud for years, and has not missed this opportunity to seize an incredibly coincidental crisis to push his personal agenda over the welfare and will of the People.
Mr. President, a little honesty, even occasionally, would give us a chance to stop being angry.
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