Filed under: Energy, Environment, Terrorism | Tags: Administration Response, BP, Deepwater Horizon
Administration officials have made the rounds of news-talk shows today to tell everyone how quickly they have responded to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace quizzed Janet Napolitano:
WALLACE: A number of Louisiana officials are saying that the Obama administration was slow to respond to this crisis. And I want to review the timeline of what has happened here. On April 20th, the explosion of the drilling platform. For days, BP and the Coast Guard say there is no leak. On April 24th, we’re told it’s leaking 1,000 barrels a day. On April 28th, the estimate is raised to 5,000 barrels a day. It’s not until April 29th, nine days after the accident, that the president makes his first statement about what is now called an incident of national significance.
Secretary Napolitano, should the administration have responded faster?
NAPOLITANO: Oh, the administration responded with all hands on deck from day one. What happened is the situation itself evolved. The situation evolved from an explosion and a search-and-rescue mission to several days later the actual sinking of the rig. At that point in time, the oil was being burned off on the surface. To the next phase, was that the oil began to spread, and could not all and was not all being burned off on the surface. And then we had assets in place, already pre-deployed, more than 70 vessels, hundreds of thousands of feet of boom. The command center, the integrated command center the commandant referred to was already stood up, with the states involved from day one, I might say.
Uh huh. Doug Ross”s timeline tells a slightly different story, and for 9 days, the administration seems uninterested. On the 29th of April, we get pictures of a finally involved White House. On the 30th, Secretary of Defense Gates mobilizes the Louisiana National Guard, and the White House convenes a “principal-level homeland security response meeting, and President Obama plans to visit the catastrophe zone off Louisiana’s coast within the next 48 hours.
Awkward coverup, inadequate response. Adding a car bomb in Times Square is another big deal. Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility, but what that means nobody knows at present. New York police performed admirably. These events are not the administrations fault. How the administration reacts is. Those reactions are carefully observed by governments all over the world, and judged. That’s just the way it is.
Doug Ross is on a roll. He credits the idea to Hill Buzz, for conservatives to put up billboards in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and Nevada to inform illegals that San Francisco is a Sanctuary City, where they will not ask for identification unless you are a citizen wanting to cash a check or check into a hotel or head out from the airport.
Doug Ross goes a little farther and designs a potential billboard:
And there are other “sanctuary cities” where they announce that enforcing federal immigration and border enforcement laws isn’t cool. How nice when you can selectively decide which laws you like and which you don’t.
Doug Ross also has a good display of some of the anti-Arizona protests — the pre-printed signs seem to come from the “Industrial Workers of the World,” Mexico, and the usual leftist Nazi printing office.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Economy, Energy, Environment, Politics | Tags: British Petroleum, Deepwater Horizon, NOAA
Federal officials should have started burning oil off the surface of the gulf last week, almost as soon as the spill happened, according to the former spill response coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Ron Gouget, who also had experience as manager of Louisiana’s oil response team for a time, said that federal officials missed a narrow window of opportunity to gain control of the spill by burning last week, before the spill spread hundreds of miles across the Gulf, and before winds began blowing toward shore.
Gouget was part of the group that created the 1994 plan that was designed to allow federal responders to take immediate action when a major spill occurred, without waiting for an elaborate approval process. He said:
They had pre-approval. The whole reason the plan was created was so we could pull the trigger right away instead of waiting ten days to get permission. If you read the pre-approval plan, it speaks about Grand Isle, where the spill is. When the wind in blowing offshore out of the north, you have pre-approval to burn in that region. If the wind is coming onshore, like it is now, you can’t burn at Grand Isle. They waited to do the test burn until the wind started coming onshore.
Gouget added that the NOAA officials involved at the Unified Command Center in Louisiana know how to respond to spills, and know burning should have started as soon as possible after the initial release was detected. Gouget said they may have been overruled:
It may have been a political issue. The burn would make a big, big plume and lots of soot. Like Valdez, the decisions to get the resources mobilized may not have occurred until it was too late. This whole thing has been a strip tease. At first it was just the diesel, then they said the well wasn’t leaking. It’s unfortunate they didn’t get the burning going right away. They could have gotten 90 percent of the oil before it spread.
Doug Ross has an illustrated timeline of “Obama’s Katrina.” Don’t miss it! This is going to be a huge disaster. Dispersal agents were used when they should not have been
President Obama finally visited today, and announced that BP was going to have to pay for the cleanup. Actually, the president of British Petroleum announced that they would be paying for the cleanup last week, so that isn’t news either.
Work on oil rigs is dangerous, and there are many risks. Eleven lives were lost in this disaster. The media seems disinclined to get interested until there are threats to birds and otters. Oil-soaked wildlife always makes for dramatic pictures.
It is disheartening to find a disaster made worse by federal inaction when there are clear guidelines.