Sunday, August 8, 2010

Obama's Credibility Gap on BP's Gulf Oil Spill

It should come as no surprise.  I have remained silent on the oil spill intentionally because the attacks against the Obama administration for the most part have been absurd.

Here's today's question to ponder.  Can the federal government do ANYTHING better than private enterprise or Mother Nature?

First, it wasn't Barack Obama's fault there was an explosion on the rig in the Gulf.  There are 4,000 oil rigs currently drilling in the Gulf.  Most are so far away from shore they are invisible when standing on the beach.  Those rigs have leaked and spewed oil since their inception.  Oil leaks are a long-standing way of life in the Gulf.  Stop blaming politicians for everything that goes wrong.  When you do, they think they have to take action, and that's usually going to end in tears for somebody.

Second, environmentalists typically would have us believe that anything resembling modern technology is in direct conflict with Mother Nature, and must be stamped out.  They have thrived on all the negative publicity associated with the spill as prima facie evidence that big oil companies are in league with the devil himself.  The truth is very unspectacular -- oil drilling in this country, onshore and offshore, has been going on for a very long time, and the industry safety record is generally admirable, never making headlines, given the enormity of the enterprise.

Third, as we have learned by long experience, what gets reported in the MSM is not always reliable as a source of unbiased and accurate journalism.  Increasingly, news reporting is so biased based upon some associated hidden (or not so hidden) political agenda it makes one wonder where to find objective truth.  Global warming is a classic example now.  You may think FOX News is "fair and balanced" just because they say it is, but has anyone noticed that the shrill voices from the right almost always mandate even more screaming in response from the left?  Tell me honestly, does anyone REALLY know what to believe about global warming?  Can man really alter the eco-system, and alternatively if you believe that, can man actually make a difference in offering a remedy?  The arrogance of those assumptions is stunning.  Even one-time advocates of global warming have reversed course and mounted their own criticisms of the underlying "scientific" assumptions.  The Carl Sagan quote the other day says it all -- the bigger the bamboozle tends to be the more we don't really want to know.  The planet is threatened by a rise in annual temperature?  Really?  Pass the lemonade.

So in light of this background, a story in the British press caught my eye this morning.  A reporter from the Daily Mail, David Jones, made a trip to the white sands beaches of Florida's Gulf Coast in search of the evidence this was the "worst oil spill in the history of the world."  He couldn't find much.

Instead, what he found was empty hotels and empty beaches, evidence tourists are staying away not because the area has been devastated and destroyed by the oil spill, but because the President of the United States went a little too far in his characterizations of the event.

Here's a quote from the article:

"This is one reason why the extent of the coastal oiling has been exaggerated. Indeed, [team leader, 41 year-old Stephane] Grenon, a veteran of 25 spills, says he is constantly amazed at how little pollution he finds.

"He says: ‘I know it sounds ridiculous, but it’s probably the largest spill there has ever been and yet there’s hardly any oil.

"‘The ecosystem around here is also used to oil. It’s been here forever, and there are more than 4,000 oil wells in the Gulf.

"‘So there are spills and natural seepage all the time, and the fish and plants adapt to deal with them. I’m confident the area will make a full recovery.’"

It appears to me as a casual observer there was a pretty quick retreat last week from the earlier claims of the Obama administration.  They were "there from day one," we were assured, taking on the big wicked BRITISH Petroleum company, the biggest polluters in the history of the world.  "Give us $20 Billion," said President Obama, "to clean up your mess."  Forget about due process, just fork over the cash.

David Jones, unlike President Obama, was an eyewitness reporter on the scene of the Exxon Valdez disaster years ago in the Prince William Sound, off the shores of Alaska.  President Obama tells us this Gulf of Mexico spill "eclipses" what happened with the Exxon Valdez incident, and now the spin from the administration is they are taking full credit for the spectacular cleanup results.

The British are having none of it.

I don't know who's right or wrong, but I can't help wondering if Mother Nature shouldn't get some of the credit too.

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