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My Thoughts on the Gulf Oil Spill

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I really like my TV.  I spent a lot of time picking out the highest-rated models, shopped around for the best price, and finally selected one with great picture and the right options at a price that fit my budget.  It’s a great TV.  Which is the only reason I don’t hurl the remote control through it whenever I listen to coverage of the Gulf oil spill.

The President, in his Oval Office speech a few weeks ago, pointed out how rotten British Petroleum is, how the spill is all their fault, how his administration has been on top of things from day one, how a few Federal bureaucrats at the Mineral Management Service (MMS) were too cozy with BP, how it is BP’s responsibility to stop the leak, and how BP is going to pay, pay, pay for everything.  He then spent about a third of his speech trying to sell the dopey climate-change legislation that is stalled in the Senate.

I want to be clear that I believe the oil spill is BP’s fault, and they should pay every dime for the cost of the cleanup and for the lost wages of people put out of work because of the spill.  My gripe is with the way the government is (mis)handling their responsibilities.

The problems in the Gulf break down this way: (1) Stop the well from leaking (2) clean up the oil already in the water or on the coast, and (3) compensate the people affected by 1 and 2 above.

Obviously, Job #1 is stopping the leak.  Unfortunately, nobody has a good idea on how to do this.  It very well may take months.

Starting the cleanup is vital, as it is a lot easier to get the oil out of the water before it invades the coastal marshes and beaches, and covers the poor pelicans.  And here is where the government is really flubbing it.  State and local officials are screaming for help or for permission to start the cleanup themselves.  Progress has slowed to a crawl because federal officials don’t seem to have any urgency to do anything. For example, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana begged the federal authorities to allow them to build barriers of sand to stop the oil from invading beaches and marshes.  The EPA told them they would have to wait until an environmental impact study could be performed.  Huh?   Can sand bars be worse for the environment than oil?

A few weeks ago, the Coast Guard pulled all of the oil skimming boats out of service.  Why?  So they might be inspected for proper fire extinguishers and life jackets.  Does this make sense during a national emergency?

Within days after the oil spill first happened, nearly thirty nations offered to help with the cleanup, using state-of-the-art technology and equipment that we simply don’t have.  Incredibly, the President turned them all down, without explanation.  Finally, this past week the government has decided to accept aid from about a dozen foreign countries – on Day 70 of the spill.

It’s almost as if the Federal government doesn’t want to fix the problem.

As for #3 above, compensation to people who have been financially hurt by the spill: that has been taken care of.  BP “volunteered” to give $20 billion to a fund that will pay victims lost wages and damages.  Who will control the fund and how the money will be distributed?  That job has been given to someone whom the President calls “an independent third party”, who just happens to work for the President in another capacity.  Gotta love these guys; they sure know how to keep it in the family.   Reports say money is being doled out very slowly, and the victims are getting much less than they were led to believe they would get.

Remember that Federal agency that the President said was too cozy with BP, the Mineral Management Service (MMS)?   Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has renamed it the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOE).  Problem solved.  I kid you not.

This is a disaster that is being upgraded to a total catastrophe by the incredible incompetence of our nation’s leaders.  They are obviously completely out of their depth.

Think about how they will handle your health care.

Imagine how they would handle a nuclear war.

It’s time to fix our government.

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Larry Bertolino

Larry Bertolino

Owner at myLocalPCpro
Larry Bertolino is a 31 year old, U.S Navy Veteran and currently sitting on the board of Directors for the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce, as well as Harrison County Rural Transit.
Larry Bertolino
Larry Bertolino

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Posted by on July 3, 2010, 11:43 am. Filed under Featured, John Lovejoy, ThisIsMyCounty. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry