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Who's In Charge of Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup—Obama or BP?


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24 May 2010, 2:55 PM
Polls, media show distaste for how spill is being handled

Most Americans (51 percent) disapprove of how President Obama is handling the Gulf oil spill, according to a just-released CNN poll, but that's nothing compared to how they feel British Petroleum has done (76 percent disapproval).

You have to wonder, though, whether the president would fare as well if the poll was taken now, after a weekend of media attacks on the administration for not taking a stronger leadership role in the Gulf spill. The critical drumbeat, led by Democratic strategist James Carville, challenged Obama for letting BP dictate clean-up efforts. Interior Sec. Ken Salazar promised to keep the government's "boot on the neck" of BP, but apparently BP wasn't cowed, because it defied EPA's demand that it use a less-toxic form of chemical dispersant. Today, EPA ordered BP to cut back on using the dispersants. Will BP ignore that order as well?

<Update: The EPA is launching an investigation into BP's refusal to follow last week's directive to use less-toxic dispersants.>

<Update: Today, as BP's CEO walked an oil-soaked Gulf coast beach—and promised to "clean up every drop of oil," the Coast Guard's admiral in charge said he believed the government should let BP stay in charge. The government isn't qualified to clean this spill up, he emphasized.>

And then there's the matter of the Minerals Management Service, the federal agency that Salazar is drastically reorganizing because of its too-cozy relationship with the oil industry. The New Yorker skewers the administration on two critical points:

Obama inherited an Interior Department that he knew to be plagued by corruption, but he allowed the department's particularly disreputable Minerals Management Service to party on. Last spring, in keeping with its usual custom, the M.M.S. granted BP all sorts of exemptions from environmental regulations. Ironically, one of these exemptions allowed the company to drill the Deepwater Horizon well without adhering to the standards set by NEPA. For reasons that are hard to explain, the Administration still can't, or won't, say exactly how much oil is leaking.

And, the New York Times reveals that, despite a moratorium on new drilling permits, "since the April 20 explosion on the rig, federal regulators have granted at least 19 environmental waivers for gulf drilling projects and at least 17 drilling permits, most of which were for types of work like that on the Deepwater Horizon shortly before it exploded, pouring a ceaseless current of oil into the Gulf of Mexico."

Meanwhile, Shell Oil continues to ready its oil exploration fleet for a go at offshore drilling in America's Arctic Ocean this summer. Armed with a permit from the same MMS that let BP drill in extreme conditions in the Gulf without adequate planning, Shell is likewise heading into a risky situation with little assurance that it can handle a blowout scenario. As the latest congressional hearings into the Gulf spill started, a congressman from New York demanded that Shell postpone its Arctic venture.

Well done! Thank you very much for professional templates and community edition sesli sohbet

unfortunately that's how ALL polls work. You can make the numbers turn out however you want them to fit your need.

So are regulations for offshore drilling sufficient or not? Can we handle ourselves responsibly? If not, what's needed? Let's debate here - http://finaldebate.com/view-debate.php?target=99

Some facts to think about.

1. The research ship "pellican" returned from the BP site over 10 days ago, but still the chemical content of subsea crude has not been published ? Why not and where are they?

2. BP has refused all efforts to make public the chemical fingerprint of the subsea crude it has prior and after the event, critical in any legal action and critical to analysis of mitigation.

3. The combined command running and tasking actions in this event are approved by only BP, so they are tasking the US Gov agency interests and operations.

4. Advanced sonar was offered back on May 8th to map the subsea crude with no response and no action to do it to date from BP combined command. A NOAA ship was just sent to look and with out equipment to detect crude targets with sonar which takes special modificaitons BP command knows about..

5. NOAA and USCG have not responded to track subsea currents and have not agreed that subsea curde is present in oceans world wide and the subject of many science papers.

6. Science and Research areas of the spill are now being restricted by BP using the USCG to enforce. Reasearch ship are being told to standoff from the area making BP the gatekeeper .

7. NOAA "observers" are now placed on each ship in the area and any samples subject to their direction.

8.Surface crude inteligence from air survelance using Hyperspectral cameras is not made public or shared with the Marine Scinece community.

US Government agency orgs all say that critical operational planning and efforts to mitigate the spill, chart its movement, and validate its extent must come from BP via Combined Command.

Local State EOC centers are being told that the only spill areas of concentration are surface a "light sheen" when subsea crude traped in thermalclines @ 34 degrees 2600 PSI are moving across the floor of the Gulf in subsea currents. Something BP has refused to allow measurement of.

Time to start asking hard questions in the press and get facts about the extent of the spill.!

In what universe is 51 out of 100 people considered to be "most" people? Flip two people and now "most" people think the other way? You are insane.

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