Dark Waters

By: Wayne Brown

The oil spill in the Gulf gets more interesting with each passing day.  Government officials also add a new tap dance step to the performance each day as well. In the words of the illustrious President of the United States, ‘let me make this clear’, it is apparent that the Obama Administration has no plans to get hung down in Louisiana with the same rope that was used on the Bush Administration.  In fact, they are tip-toeing around the point so cautiously, I suspect that, in the end, a hanging will not be enough for the American public much less the taxpayers along the GulfCoast region.

 

After listening to several government department officials speak over the last few days, I can conclude that nothing is really being said except to say that the point is to double-speak in such a manner that no question ever gets answer in a manner that would allow blame or responsibility to ever cast a shadow on the current administration.  The way things come across the government is not responsible but in control.  That seems to be the message that is the center piece of the administration talking points.

 

In a recent interview conducted by Fox News, Carol Browner, Assistant to the President for Energy & Climate was asked very pointed questions regarding the situation in Louisiana. Not one response that she gave offered any reasonable answer to the question.  When queried as to why the Governor of Louisiana had only received roughly 20% of the items that he has requested, her response was that the federal team was working with the governor’s office on a daily basis and the role of the federal government was to ration the products such as absorbent booms so that other states involved would have resources.  On that basis, we can conclude that although Louisiana is already well into suffering the effects of the spill, needed equipment and products are being withheld pending a need in other states.  At first, this concept is a bit irrational and difficult to understand but then one has to remember that the Obama Administration fully supports the concept of shared misery.

 

Louisiana is desperate to do something now in an attempt to at least save a portion of the marshlands that will surely die out if the oil is allowed to accumulate in those regions.  The governor has submitted a plan to build large berms of silt off the coast as a blocking mechanism to the spill and as a shield to the marshland coastal regions.  These are areas that support the shrimp and coastal oyster business in the state.  Much of the economy of the state will be influence by an environmental disaster is the coastal region of the state.  Essentially, the government is telling the governor that he cannot proceed with his plan for the coastal shield.  The feds are not discounting the effectiveness of such a plan although the entire build would take six to nine months to build based on the governor’s estimates. The point the feds are making is that it is a decision for the federal government to make and only after it has been studied by the Corp of Engineers and various other involved parties.  Thus, if it is a good plan or possibly the only alternative, there will be no starting it until the study is complete.  Meanwhile, oil continues to flow into the Louisiana coastline.

 

The point has been made and remade that British Petroleum is the responsible party in this spill and thus is charged with the responsibility for stopping the flow of the oil, cleaning up the aftermath, and curing the various and sundry associated expenses.  Government officials have stated that the fed intends to “keep its boot on their neck” until such time as all of these responsibilities have been fulfilled.  There is no argument to the fact that BP is the responsible party, an obvious conclusion.  The question lingers as to whether BP has the resources, expertise, determination, dedication, and financial solvency to sustain this responsibility from beginning to end.  Government officials are quick to point out that the government does not have the equipment or training to carry out the task thus BP is seemingly the party of choice.

 

Ms. Browner made a statement in her interview which was somewhat revealing when cast against the backdrop of other commentary by government officials.  She stated something to the effect that while British Petroleum is the responsible party and the entity charged with carrying out the technical aspects of this situation, the federal government is still the one “in charge” of the situation.  So, on the basis of her statement, are we to believe that the people who are neither trained nor equipped for the job are the ones who are in charge and making decisions.  In some circles, this would be described as a recipe for disaster.  In government circles, it makes perfect sense.

 

Given British Petroleum’s less than straight-forward attitude concerning this spill, one must wonder how forthcoming the company will be as this situation develops.  Obviously, BP does not seek to walk the brink of financial ruin as a result of this spill. On the other hand, the potential costs of shutting down the oil flow, cleaning up the coastal waters, and making the affected parties whole once again could certainly be a dollar figure beyond the scope of the financial capability of BP.  On the basis of straight-forward answers, there is also no one in federal circles willing to specifically say that the federal government will bridge the gap.  That might sound lame on the front end, but one must remember the present administration is up to their ears in “emergency spending” measures currently being thrown on the table by a vote-courting Congress.  Even hinting at the possibility of government intervention in this situation could raise taxpayer dander to an even higher level than the current one.  Thus, the people of Louisiana will just have to wait and see.

 

The Bush Administration was criticized to no end by the media and the liberal sect for the government’s inability to react in a timely and effective manner in the aftermath of Katrina.  Much of that criticism came as a result of those who elected to stay in the New Orleans region after being warned time after time of the dangers of remaining in the path of the hurricane.  Never mind that level of stupidity; the government was responsible and the call came for the government to step up and take the reins.  Now, here is Louisiana in yet another disaster and very few alternatives that will work with enough speed to eliminate the problem.  The Obama Administration and the various camera hogs based in Washington are quick to come to the cameras and offer fresh rhetoric yet slow to offer any comprehensive approach to resolving this dilemma other than to suggest that we wait and see what BP will do.  Such inability to respond and take proactive measures far exceeds any shorting comings the Bush Administration may have exhibited in New Orleans.

 

For the time being, there are some certainties in this situation.  They are as follows:  BP will continue to bob and weave their way through this mess with the hope of financial survival as their primary goal; the people of Louisiana will be forced to sit back and watch things go to hell or choose to break federal guidelines and invoke their own solutions; and, last but not least, the Obama Administration and the Federal Government will still be “in charge.”  No doubt, change has come to America.  Any one desiring anything better outcome is just crying over spilled milk.

 

© Copyright WBrown2010. All Rights Reserved

 

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Comments 22 comments

sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

Obama might think we're absolving him of blame, but he's wrong. He's taken charge - yes. And done nothing - yes. A study is not what's needed, action is.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

Right on target, Sheila B...as usual. Those Louisiana shrimpers are thinking silt berms and Obama is imagining shared grief. One is an action and the other is a dream (of his!). I suppose this also fits his model for a "new world order." Perhaps he read my hub "Globalization" prior to his speech at the Academy. Thanks for the read! WB


AEvans profile image

AEvans 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

I honestly have decided that our Country is going to you nowhere the entire situation with the spill is unbelievable and our government just sits on there butts and twiddles there thumbs. Another great read! :)


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Obama fiddles as our coastline goes up in flames. I cannot believe that with all the resources available to us no one has been able to stop this leak. The administration shouldn't be content to say it's BP's problem. Washington should be availing itself of all the expertise that's out there to get this disaster under control. I get the impression that the WH is not that concerned. If Obama feels that now is the time for a vacation his priorities are screwed up.


Tim Bryce 6 years ago

Can you imagine if George Bush was still in the White House? The Democrats would be screaming for his head on a platter.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

Good morning, Poppy! Let's see how many "tough questions" the President answers in his upcoming newconference. My guess is one of them might be "Will you be going back to Hawaii on vacation this summer?" This administration wants "credit without accountability". They have revamped Harry Truman's slogan to say "The bucks stops anywhere but here but we are in charge". Thanks for the read and the comment BP! WB


Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 6 years ago from Los Angeles

Hard to believe that once again we forgot about the wisdom of “charity begins at home”. It is great that Haiti (recently) and many other less fortunate nations (for decades) got all the help they asked for and maybe even more than what we could afford. America is the hero of the world, right? We live up to our reputation of saving the ones in need.

What about Louisiana? Is it not part of the world at least? The way it has been treated by the Bush and Obama administration makes me believe that they do not consider it part of anything. People are suffering today, they have suffered since Katrina and will suffer some more for the next few years. Does their suffering matter? Not from what I can see.

Words come cheap and expressing sympathy will not break the bank, but where is the action and what is everybody waiting for? Will the grace of God be enough to alleviate the pain and suffering of millions whose lives have been destroyed?

BP made billions of dollars in profits and we are still not sure they can afford to clean up their own mess? They have the technology and should have the knowledge to do it, but they are waiting for others to step up and clean up. Any way one looks at it, is still a shame and it still gives me the impression that Louisiana does not belong to anyone, it does not matter and will not get any help anytime soon.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

Very true, Petra. 37 days ago, Obama told one of his aides to "plug the damn hole". Of course the aide had no idea as to how to do that but it was symbolic of Obama as a "man of action" and interestingly enough, it managed to get outside the walls of that meeting and into the press...how convenient. While the government claims to be in charge and BP continues to state that they are doing everything possible, this well rages out of control. I have heard there is a technique which could in effect blow up the well. It would render the well useless at this point but who the hell cares...BP? Got that one on the first try! So, if indeed the government is "in control" and has their "boot on BP's neck", how come we have not taken some action that goes beyond the scope of potentially saving this well? I think the answer might be evident but not palatable to the American public. There are two mind sets at work here. One...Obama and his cronies perserving his reelection potential by keeping the blame away. He is an action man and actions have been taken. They keep listing them over and over just like the script says. The the second, BP, surviving this situation financially and coming out on the other side is probably uppermost in their mind. In that regard, they have less than forthcoming on most every aspect of this situation in the hope that managing information will keep costs lower in the long run. In the end, the only minds truly focused on getting to a quick solutions are those of the American people and the citizens of Louisiana. I just hope their minds are still focused when election time rolls around. Thanks for the read and the comments! WB


Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 6 years ago from Los Angeles

Hi Wayne,

Luckly for Louisiana its Governor is a man of action with a good head on his shoulder and a stong will. He will keep the pressure on I hope and he does have a future with the republican party.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

I agree, Petra...seems to be he has been the one real voice pressing for some real action in this process instead of just counting the number of men and machines on assignment in the Gulf.


cjv123 profile image

cjv123 6 years ago from Michigan

OH so true! If the Bush administration dragged their feet like this administration has with this oil spill...mistakes were definitely made with Katrina - but it certainly wasn't due to the incompetency this administration is showing. Where was the oil burn off that is supposed to happen with most oil spills? Most of the toxic material would have burned off before reaching the shores. The administration answer? The worry was what it would do to the air. Mr. Obama bowing to the environmentalists again when all the experts agree, that could have helped a great deal in the beginning...What a mess! Thank you for your well thought out opinion on regarding this horrible tragedy.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you for the read and your nice comments CJV. Much of my political commentary comes to me at times when I am angered by events and have to vent a bit. This one probably has my soapbox showing. After listening to Carol Browner continue to hammer away at "how in charge" they were down there and then she side step answering every question she was asked. They think they are reassuring people by running their mouths but it is really having the opposite effect. WB


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD

Good stuff here, man. I saw that interview with Carol Browner. I couldn't stop images of the Keystone Cops from jumping into my mind. Incompetency reigns in Washington.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks, Ken...your comments are always valued as are your visits. I had two solid days of driving and listening to this stuff only to have it topped off by Browner. The administration seems to want to have control but no accountability. The public needs to hear that.


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

This is unbelievable BP is on the verge of destroying North America with the introduction of the Corexit 9500 highly toxic cleaner and will do more harm than good, BP will go ahead even tough Obama apparently is not in agreement with using this highly toxic chemical. This is truly a serious problem? I pray that there will be some intervention to save the planet. Thanks for the share Wayne, but damm scary.

Toxic Oil Spill Rains Warned Could Destroy North America | EUTimes.net


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

Ken (SR)...good to see ya! You disappeared for a while. The situation down here in the Gulf is terrible...a political football game at best. The last attempt at sealing the well is failing as of the latest news so the August target is probably the next time line. I think the government should have told BP that it would take care of the cleanup and send them a bill and that they should concentrate all their energy on the shutdown...that would take the chemical argument away and still keep BP in the game. Thanks for the read and comments! WB


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Looking back now WB - what a circus! And the really sad thing? Even if BP were to pay for the spill - even if the government tried to fix it - it can't ever be undone. The damage to the wildlife and the repercussions will be felt for years to come because of it! Great thought provoking hub - even 9 months later!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@RealHousewife...It was a zoo and if I remember correctly so was the issue in Alaska when the Exxon Valdez ran aground...we never seemed to be really prepared for these situations. Once they happen, there is only so much we can do. In the end, I believe Mother Nature has ways to deal with almost anything over time and flush it from her system. The true disaster in the Gulf was the loss of commerce and the loss of jobs. The jobs likely will be a long time in coming back because off-shore drilling has been depressed by the whole situation and we have an administration in office that does not seem to really care...they had rather invest in drilling off-shore in Brazil. Thanks much. WB


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Yes - sad for everyone. I heard in the beginning of it all - someone saying on the news "only the gulf cities will be affected"! What kinda crazy statement was that? It hurts everyone - and usually has the downward spiral after.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@RealHousewife...They say that everything that affects one person ripples out and eventually effects seven more. The expotential aspects of that grow rapidly. Anyone who could actually believe that we could isolate bad economics from the oil spill to only the coast would be naive. It just takes longer for some to feel it...just like the winds off a hurricane. WB


kimh039 profile image

kimh039 5 years ago

I miss the days when you could watch the news and learn something useful. I'm sooooooo tired of politics, games, political correctness, and opinions. Just the facts please, so I can make my own informed judgments and decisions.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@kimh039...It is quite difficult and wearisome. On the one hand there is the need to be informed and make good individual decisions for the country. One the other there is just this need to get away and be done with all of the stupidity. You have rise above most of it and try to see the big picture. We have to have a general direction that is going the right way...if not, nothing else matters for we will eventually just end up lost. Thanks for the good words. WB

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