American Elephants

It Wasn’t Anger that We Wanted, Mr. President. It Was Leadership. by The Elephant's Child

In the wake of the oil spill, President Obama asked Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to come up with a new report on recommendations for drilling safety.  Then, on May 27 Mr. Obama announced a six-month deep water drilling ban. He justified it on the basis of the top recommendation of Mr. Salazar’s report, which was a moratorium. The report noted, to include an air of technical authority: “The recommendations contained in this report have been peer-reviewed by seven experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering.”

That was flatly false.  In a scathing statement released this week, the seven experts explained that the report draft they had reviewed did not include a six-month drilling moratorium.   That was added after they had signed off.  “The Secretary,” they said, “should be free to recommend whatever he thinks is correct, but he should not be free to use our names to justify his political decisions,” wrote the seven in a letter to Gulf Coast politicians.

The seven noted that they broadly agreed with the report and even signed off on a proposal to suspend new deep water permits for six months.  They also agreed to a “temporary pause” in drilling to perform additional testing on the Gulf’s 33 deep water wells that have already received permits to drill.

“A blanket moratorium,” the seven said “is not the answer. It will not measurably reduce risk further and it will have a lasting impact on the nation’s economy which may be greater than that of the oil spill.”  If anything, the ban could prove “counterproductive to long term safety.”

The Department of the Interior says the ban was a White House request.  Best guess is that credit should go to energy czar Carol Browner, who has been loudly favoring the ban to show the Administration is doing something.  Mr. Obama has pushed to question off to the commission he has appointed to investigate the spill.  The commission is not fully staffed, and their report is not due for six months.  That will be too late for thousands of Gulf workers who are in danger of losing their jobs within weeks, as deep water rigs prepare to leave the Gulf.

Meanwhile talk of “kicking ass” and demonizing BP has led to a backlash from Great Britain, home country of the oil giant, and the mainstay of many a retirement portfolio.  A Conservative peer, Lord Tebbit, called the American response “a crude bigoted, xenophobic display of partisan, political, presidential petulance against a multinational company.”

British message boards have been full of anger against America and Mr. Obama, a president who has been wildly popular until now, and against the economic costs of American anger.

1 Comment so far
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When the dust clears , It will be shown that the
gulf oil disaster was caused by a small group
of “smart” managers that could play fast and
hard with safety just like the Challenger
disaster….notice I did not say accident.

The gulf disaster has also shown us more of
what was elected as president.

The Dodge challenger is more of the same
nothing really new , gas hog muscle car , the
market is FLOODED with this type of car.

More British bashing?


Comment by Ron spins

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