As we slog through day 37 of the BP oil disaster, and the Federal government ineptly shouts they are really, really mad, BP will use yet another method to try and control an oil spill that by all accounts will be the worst in this nations history. It remains to be seen if the top kill will “kill” the blowout preventer or force BP to look for another proverbial “kitchen Sink” approach.
While there can be no mistaking that responsibility lies primarily with BP, and possibly its subcontractors, the US government is complicit in a multitude of ways. It appears to be a situation where the Minerals Management Service, while providing permitting and oversight while collecting billions in fees, is like the Mafia complaining the neighborhood is going to hell (no disrespect to the Mafia). The Obama administration loudly proclaim the problems are Bush era issues, and appears to pass the buck at every opportunity.
Someone needs to tell the Obama administration it’s their ball game now. They won the election over 1 ½ years ago. Obama now has plans to arrive on scene this Friday, and his subordinates claim to have their boot firmly on the neck of BP, but who will have their boot on the neck of the administration? Forty Days to take seriously a disaster that may affect this country for decades? This is Obama’s Katrina and then some.
The energy needs of this country are vast as are the resources. While we move ever so slowly to a “Renewable Energy” economy, we must harvest energy resources from coal, gas, oil and nuclear lest we move back to the stone age. Some would like to see this happen, but there is no likelihood of going back, and society would clearly lose by entertaining such ideas. However, why have a governmental agency that serves little purpose other than to collect taxes (permitting fees/royalties) and yet provide no real oversight for the industry they control? Is it not the first role of government to protect us from enemies, foreign and domestic? Are we not under attack from a slippery enemy that will change the lives of gulf coast residents for possibly generations to come?
The role of government, in this case, should be to accurately determine worst case scenarios independent of any for-profit company, and make sure processes and systems are in place or available to address any similar ecological disaster. What has been demonstrated is that the government, as it grows ever larger, has all of the control but none of the blame or responsibility. If the Obama administration expects the oil disaster, from soup to nuts, to be the purview of BP, they might as well expect Lockheed or Boeing to plan military strategy.