Thursday, June 17, 2010

White House Fraud Risks More Well Explosions

The President’s ideology has become crystal clear, with his moratorium of deep water drilling in the gulf; not just future drilling permits, but current drilling. The Wall Street Journal (Crude Politics ) wrote: "All this is even before raising ban’s economic consequences, which already threaten tens of thousands of jobs. This is why Louisiana politicians are now pleading with the Administration to back off a ban that is sending the Gulf’s biggest industry to its grave." But there is something else here; something devious and exceedingly deceptive and/or dangerous. “Prior to issuing the moratorium, the White House consulted a panel of experts. According to the President, these experts agreed that a moratorium was a good idea and was outlined in his Oval Office speech. However, when the Wall Street Journal contacted some of these experts and it turns out that’s not what they said at all. The experts said they agreed a moratorium for new drilling permits was a good idea, not current drilling. One of the experts said, “Because if anybody had [made that suggestion], we’d have said ‘that’s craziness.’” Why would it be craziness? The WSL continued, "A big reason why those experts would have balked is because they recognize that the moratorium is indeed a threat to safety… The ban requires oil companies to abandon uncompleted wells. The process of discontinuing a well, and then later re-entering it, introduces unnecessary risk. He notes BP was in the process of abandoning its well when the blowout happened."

The White House Panel of experts said they had signed on to a document that said one thing and the White House added two paragraphs without their knowledge or consent, changing the scope of the moratorium. This is the morale equivalent to a judge signing a search warrant, then the police adding a few more things they want to search for and forging the judges name to it; it's called fraud. To make matters worse, the tactic of shutting down and capping the existing 33 deep-water wells, could result in more another deep-water spills. The very reason for the moratorium is to study what went wrong with capping the wells, yet the moratorium will force BP to re-create the conditions, 33 more times, that lead to the current spill.

The President is again, hoping his ideology will not blowup in the country’s face and make matters worse; much worse in the Gulf. After the BP deepwater well exploded, spewing hundreds of millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf, the President balked. Unlike the “trust but verify” tactics of Ronald Reagan, the President took the word of BP that no help was needed without any confirmation and went off to play golf. This is not to say that BP was up to something sinister. The fact is that corporations have a different world view than governments. What are acceptable risks to business, may not be acceptable in areas of national security. Life border security, this is an area were the federal government is supposed to take charge, and where the Obama Administration continues to fail. Once it was obvious that BP was in over it’s head, Obama maintained that it was still up to BP to stop the leak and keep the oil off the beaches. BP has acknowledged that they spent more of their resources making sure no deep-water calamity would occur and not planning what would be necessary if a spill actually happened. During this time oil experts from around the world offered assistance with clean-up technology, but the President has turned it down, refusing to suspend something called the Jones Act, that protects the unions, by not letting foreign ships into American waters; he still has not done so.

As I said before, he should let BP worry about the spewing broken wellhead, but muster the world’s resources to stop the oil from reaching the beaches. Instead he has spent all his energy on the blame game and assuring BP is going to pay for the destruction of the Gulf. Never mind that a coordinated effort using all available technology and tactics could mitigate the damage and help keep the beaches safe. Nature will take care of most the oil in the water, but it will take decades or longer to get the oil out of the beaches. Wouldn’t it be better to protect the beaches now and worry about who is going to pay for it later? But the ideology of the President is based primarily on vilification, not problem solving.

Does the President really not know what he’s doing? I don’t know, perhaps no one knows. But he's throwing the dice again and hoping they won't turn up snake eyes. If they do, the American people will once again have to cover his bets once again.

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