Since the BP oil rig explosion on April 20th, Obama’s schedule for the last 55 days has been grueling: hitting the golf course, enjoying White House celebrity events, basketball photo ops, partying with Mexican President Felipe Calderone at an over-the-top swanky state dinner, and going on vacation. Outcry from the public on his detached bumbling of the oil disaster finally forced him to the Oval Office last night to deliver a “battle plan” on how to end the BP debacle. It was 17 minutes of tough talk, military terminology, and promises. Will he deliver?
Hinting at ‘Cap and Trade’ (national energy tax), Obama’s speech lacked specifics and direction. Declaring that America is running out of areas to drill for oil, he failed to mention that deep-water drilling in the inter-continental shelf has been forced on us by his radical environmentalist friends. Shallow water drilling, land mass in the western United States, and ANWR are energy treasure troves being held hostage. Interesting that Obama didn’t mention the new figures his Administration released yesterday regarding the output of oil flowing into the gulf: a whopping 60,000 barrels per day (quite an increase over last week’s estimate of 25,000 to 30,000 barrels a day). Never fear, however. More regulations are on the way. Obama has named Michael R. Bromwich (former Justice Dept. prosecutor and inspector general) to toughen up the Minerals Management Service. That ought to do the trick!
Outburst from one of Obama’s biggest fans that finally got the President’s attention (5/26/10):
Is Obama relying on James Carville for suggestions on what to do?
Carville recently chanced upon Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen eating dinner with BP CEO Tony Hayward at a New Orleans restaurant, the senior White House aide says. Allen had called Carville after his first TV outburst to talk about the administration’s response, but Carville failed to return the call. When Allen asked why, Carville said he had been busy, the aide says (Carville did not reply to requests for comment). That does not sit well with administration officials who suggest that Carville’s readiness to go public with his criticism is not matched by his private willingness to offer concrete suggestions about what they could do differently.
Another surprise… Obama did not reveal that he was briefed early on on how bad the oil spill could be.
Daily Beast:Critics have bashed President Obama for being slow to seize the political initiative in combating the BP oil spill in the Gulf Coast, now widely believed to be the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. The White House has battled back, releasing a timeline of events showing that Obama was briefed—and deploying the Coast Guard—within 24 hours of the Deepwater Horizon blowout.
What has not been previously disclosed: The president was not only briefed on the real-time events of the spill, but also on just how bad it would be—and how hard it would be to plug the hole.
Carol Browner, director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, told Obama at one of the earliest briefings in late April that the blowout would likely lead to an unprecedented environmental disaster, senior White House aides told The Daily Beast. Browner warned that capping a well at such depths had never been done before, and that they ought to expect an oil spill that would continue until a relief well was drilled in August, the aide said.
Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and Howard Fineman (MSNBC) analyze Obama’s speech, signaling the bloom is off the rose:
It’s amazing how many are now saying what Mitt Romney said regarding this devastating crisis. With lack of resources on the ground and in the water, local parishes in Louisiana and state officials in the Gulf are desperate for help of any kind. Obama’s refusal to rescind the Jones Act - a federal maritime law that mandates all goods be carried in U.S. waters by U.S.-flagged ships - has blocked much needed outside help and speaks volumes about Obama’s loyalties. And, he’s not budging on his Gulf oil drilling moratorium.
Obama’s ‘Battle Plan’ leaves much to be desired. He’s meeting with BP oil executives for the first time today – for an in-depth 20 minute meeting. Let’s hope our Commander-in-Chief reads Romney’s op-ed before he walks into the room.
To view interactive timeline demonstrating BP’s handling of the oil spill click here.