Obama, the Gulf Oil Spill, and Hurricane Katrina…

It is funny how little responsibility Democrats (with the help of their media brethren) take for their own actions.

This week, we saw the Obama Administration in crisis mode regarding the Gulf of Mexico oil rig explosion and oil spill…and it was not a pretty sight.

British Petroleum (BP) clearly has made a mess of things.  At first they claimed the leak was controlled.  Then, they claimed that it was a slow leak.  They then changed their minds, and said it was a large leak but they had it all under control.  Now, the whole thing is an epic disaster.

But no matter how much blame BP deserves in this event, the Federal Government deserves its own fair share.

You know it is bad when the New York wing of the Obama Administration (aka the New York Times) is calling out the Feds:

BP officials said they did everything possible, and a review of the response suggests it may be too simplistic to place all the blame on the oil company. The federal government also had opportunities to move more quickly, but did not do so while it waited for a resolution to the spreading spill from BP, which was leasing the drilling rig that exploded in flames on April 20 and sank two days later. Eleven workers are missing and presumed dead.

The Department of Homeland Security waited until Thursday to declare that the incident was “a spill of national significance,” and then set up a second command center in Mobile. The actions came only after the estimate of the size of the spill was increased fivefold to 5,000 barrels a day.

The delay meant that the Homeland Security Department waited until late this week to formally request a more robust response from the Department of Defense, with Ms. Napolitano acknowledging even as late as Thursday afternoon that she did not know if the Defense Department even had equipment that might be helpful.

Aren’t you just waiting for a “Brownie, you are doing a great job!” moment here?

The NY Times Editorial page had even more to say:

The timetable is damning. The blowout occurred on April 20. In short order, fire broke out on the rig, taking 11 lives, the rig collapsed and oil began leaking at a rate of 40,000 gallons a day. BP tried but failed to plug the well. Even so, BP appears to have remained confident that it could handle the situation with private resources (as did the administration) until Wednesday night, when, at a hastily called news conference, the Coast Guard quintupled its estimate of the leak to 5,000 barrels, or more than 200,000 gallons a day.

Only then did the administration move into high gear.

And they finish the piece with this hard hitting point:

What we do know is that we now face a huge disaster whose consequences might have been minimized with swifter action.

The liberal St. Petersburg Times agreed in an Editorial:

The Obama administration has lacked vision and urgency in responding to the worst environmental disaster it has faced. The oil gushing from the destroyed rig into the Gulf of Mexico has overwhelmed the industry and local governments, and only Washington can muster the resources to meet such an ominous threat to the entire coast. Yet the president did not send his top environmental aides and mobilize the Navy and Air Force until Friday — after the giant slick already had reached the fragile marshes and shorelines of the Mississippi Delta. The federal response must match the magnitude of the threat of environmental and economic calamity that stretches from Louisiana to Florida.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which was primary a local event, the media largely blamed the Bush Administration for lack of immediate response…even though legally, it was almost impossible for the President to do anything preventative.  This case, however, is all together different.  As an oceanic crisis, not occurring in state borders, this was first and foremost a federal problem.  So if anything, more of the blame lies with the Obama Administration with this issue than with Katrina.

Another point:  this is such a smaller disaster than Katrina it is laughable.  Katrina affected more than a 1,000 miles of the gulf coast in its entirety, and pushed up to 50 miles inland.  This crisis is affecting, at most, about 100 miles of the gulf coast, with the oil pollutant focused on about 20 miles of shoreline…and of course, does not impact inland sites.  So as far as catastrophes go, this one is big, but far smaller than Katrina.  And yet, the media gives the Obama Administration a relative pass.

And here is the double standard times two.  One month ago Barack Obama, in a big ceremony under TV lights, promoted his new policy of allowing offshore oil drilling.  A month later, we have this disaster.  If this had been a Republican President, how long would it have taken the media to blame the President for the oil spill?  I would wager nary a minute would go by…

The media, as usual, has shown its normal duplicity.  The delay by the administration will cost immense ecological and economic damage that could have been avoided.  But surely, everyone from BP to the local governors to Sarah ‘Drill Baby Drill!’ Palin to George W. Bush himself will be blamed for this before President Barack Obama will be.

5 thoughts on “Obama, the Gulf Oil Spill, and Hurricane Katrina…

  • May 2, 2010 at 1:39 am
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    Geez, I can’t tell you how many times in almost 5 years that I’ve heard conservatives yell that Katrina was something that should have been handled by the locals. This in spite of the fact that it was larger than 9/11, the Oklahoma City Bombing, the Northridge California earthquake and the San Diego firestorms combined.

    Now these same folks, many led by Rush Limbaugh are saying that the oil spill, which is the fault of a PRIVATE corporation IS suddenly the responsibility of the Federal Government. How hypocritical can they get? And to think in 2008 how many right wing media members lied that Katrina didn’t cause any oil spills and therefore we should be expanding oil drilling in the Gulf.

    Paul Harris
    Author, “Diary From the Dome, Reflections on Fear and Privilege During Katrina”

  • May 2, 2010 at 7:13 am
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    Well, I agree. But you can’t have it both ways.

    Either Bush was at fault with Katrina because it should have been federal in nature, or not.

    If Bush was at fault, then Obama is NOW at fault. Liberals are excusing Obama now the same way conservatives did before. Are you claiming now to be states rights advocate?

    I don’t care which view you pick…but pick one, and then at least we can be consistent.

  • May 2, 2010 at 7:49 am
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    Unlike Katrina, this oil spill is a man-made disaster.
    Environmentalists and offshore drilling opponents have been arguing for years that the “drill, baby, drill” conservatives were trying to deceive the public into thinking that offshore drilling was safe and that oil company technology is much better now that it was 20 years ago.
    That turned out to be all TALK.
    The federal government may be on the hook for an earthquake, hurricane or tornado.
    But this is not an act of god.
    This is a man made disaster caused by mismanagement and lack of preparation by BP.
    The responsibility for stopping the leak is BP’s
    The responsibility for the cleanup is BP’s
    The esponsibility for compensating the states and citizens for lost income is BPs

    Interesting that when businesses screw up, the “pro business” community is all in favor of asking the federal government to find a solution.

    Taxpayers should not be on the hook for BP’s mistakes.

    The only thing that the federal government should to is pass laws that end oil drilling off our coasts.

  • May 2, 2010 at 7:54 am
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    There have been 4 major disasters from oil rigs in the last 40 years.

    By your logic, we should ban all air flights, car travel, etc…which kill many more people and cause much more damage.

  • May 5, 2010 at 12:51 am
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    the oil spill in Mexico would surely be one of the greatest environmental disasters for this year..::

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