Obama held a press conference for the first time since I don’t know when. Basically, he used BP’s, so far successful, top kill method to address the Gulf Oil Spill. The press conference was typical Obama. While accepting blame, Obama also did everything he could to rhetorically pass the buck.
The American people should know that from the moment this disaster began, the federal government has been in charge of the response effort. As far as I’m concerned, BP is responsible for this horrific disaster, and we will hold them fully accountable on behalf of the United States as well as the people and communities victimized by this tragedy. We will demand that they pay every dime they owe for the damage they’ve done and the painful losses that they’ve caused. And we will continue to take full advantage of the unique technology and expertise they have to help stop this leak.
This is BS of the first order. The Federal government was clearly AWOL on this disaster. The Obama administration tried to dump the whole thing in BP’s lap, so that it could stand by and with clean hands and demonize BP for political points.
Sarah Palin questions this notion of the government being there on day one in her latest Facebook note:
If the President really was fully focused on this issue from day one, why did it take nine whole days before the administration asked the Department of Defense for help in deploying equipment needed for the extreme depth spill site?
Why was the expert group assembled by Energy Commissioner Steven Chu only set up three weeks after the start of this disaster?
Why was Governor Jindal forced more than a month after the start of the disaster to go on national television to beg for materials needed to tackle the oil spill and for federal approval to build offshore sand barriers that are imperative to protect his state’s coastline?
Why was no mention of the spill made by our President for days on end while Americans waited to hear if he grasped the import of his leadership on this energy issue?
Why have several countries and competent organizations who offered help or expertise in dealing with the spill not even received a response back from the Unified Area Command to this day?
Obama should have made sure that the fed was playing two roles throughout the spill. The government should have acted as both guardian and facilitator. As a guardian, the government should have kept a close eye on BP’s activities to make sure the nation’s best interests were being served. As a facilitator, the Obama should have been cutting through red tape to expedite both BP’s efforts and the clean up efforts (e.g. Bobby Jindal’s requests).
Here is where Obama does the classic passing of the blame. Of course the blame is passed to the administration’s handy dandy scapegoat the Bush administration (this time through inference).
In recent months, I’ve spoken about the dangers of too much -- I’ve heard people speaking about the dangers of too much government regulation. And I think we can all acknowledge there have been times in history when the government has overreached. But in this instance, the oil industry’s cozy and sometimes corrupt relationship with government regulators meant little or no regulation at all.
When Secretary Salazar took office, he found a Minerals and Management Service that had been plagued by corruption for years –- this was the agency charged with not only providing permits, but also enforcing laws governing oil drilling. And the corruption was underscored by a recent Inspector General’s report that covered activity which occurred prior to 2007 -- a report that can only be described as appalling. And Secretary Salazar immediately took steps to clean up that corruption. But this oil spill has made clear that more reforms are needed.
Well with almost a year and a half of this administration, why hasn’t the cozy and corrupt relationship between the oil industry and government regulators ended? If they can identify it, why couldn’t they correct it?
Again Sarah Palin, point out the flaws in this argument:
He suggested today that a “culture of corruption” at the U.S. Minerals Management Service (MMS) was solely the previous administration’s responsibility and that the failure of the inspection system was a failure of that administration. That is false. The MMS has been his responsibility since January 20, 2009.
The MMS director who resigned today, Elizabeth Birnbaum, was appointed by his administration. And the most recent inspection of the oil rig took place a mere 10 days before the explosion –also very much on his watch, not President Bush’s.
All in all, this press conference did not do Obama any favors. What Americans are looking for now is action not rhetoric. If Obama wants to escape the Katrina analogy, then he has to make sure he and the administration stays deeply involved in the clean up process. Simply giving his speech and then walking away will not do.
Via: White House. Gov