Sunday, 30 January 2011

BP, the OPA, the CWA, the EPA, the USCG, and the Gulf of Mexico

Question: How many Obamian bureaucrats does it take to plug a gushing oil well?
Answer: None, since they won't try.
By now most people have heard of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's graphic comment reminiscent of the Third Reich that the Obama administration "will keep its boot on the throat" of British Petroleum until it plugs the hole 5000 feet down in the Gulf of Mexico and stops the oil gusher.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs thought so highly of that threat that he repeated it the next day, adding "while we [Obama and his administration] do all that is humanly possible to deal with this issue."
As Mark Levin pointed out Monday evening, the administration's approach to this whole disastrous mess is all ass-backwards. It is not the province of BP to conduct the capping of the well nor is it British Petroleum's responsibility to direct the operations of minimizing the spread of the oil slick and the clean-up.
Surely, BP is and will be responsible for the attendant costs and it has already expended upwards of three quarters of a billion dollars in its futile efforts and compensation payments to those affected and I am not denying the responsibility of BP or of Transocean, Ltd for what happened to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 20th and the consequences of that explosion.
However, for almost 20 years, since the passage of the 1990 Oil Pollution Act (OPA) it has been the duty of the government of the United States to take charge of operations related to oil spills such as Deepwater Horizon.
Enacted following the Exxon-Valdez disaster in Prince William Sound when it was deemed that to make the spillers responsible for dealing with a spill was an absurdity, the OPA was designed to expedite reaction time to such events. In conjunction with the Clean Water Act, CWA, the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, and the U.S. Coast Guard were directed to take charge of spills in our waterways and coastlines.
(That would include the coastlines of the world's seventh ocean, according to Janet Napolitano, the Ocean (Gulf) of Mexico.)
Therefore, when the USCG Commandant Thad W. Allen declared that there was nothing the USCG could do under the law, he was woefully wrong.
The reason for Salazar's and Gibbs's use of tough language about boots on necks is evident: The Obama administration is totally ill-equipped and completely out of its element when it comes to this spill. Instead of owning up to those facts and admitting they haven't the foggiest notion as to how to deal with the gusher or the clean-up, they prefer to act tough and pass the ball to BP.
That way, even though the OPA mandates that the EPA and USCG run those operations, the Obamians can point their blame finger at BP no matter what happens.
It's called government by the pusillanimously inept.
All references sourced at