The quote in the title was stated by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel right after the Obama administration took office. That quote was in response to the economic downfall America was in due to the financial sector’s downward slide throughout 2008. The comment was reiterated as the Gulf oil spill has continued to linger on, now 58 days and counting, but despite the immediate impacts on businesses in the Gulf, the injured oil workers and the deceased workers’ families, the federal government wants America to rest assured that they are doing everything that they possibly can, and they have been on the case since day one.
This rhetoric has been carried on for 58 days, and it is growing tired. The federal government has shown no true decisive action on what to do about the oil spill other than to criticize and blame BP, vow to “kick someone’s ass,” and utilize this accident as an opportunity to try and convince the American people that cap and trade legislation needs passed. “We need to wean our dependence on oil, both domestically and abroad, and establish a “greener” America so that these oil spills will never happen again.” This is paraphrased from Obama’s White House address, but after criticizing BP and oil companies in general, that was when he started his pitch to push forward on cap and trade legislation. He got criticized heavily, not surprisingly, but what was surprising was that he was criticized by some of his more adamant supporters like MSNBC’s Chris Matthews for not being a “strong enough executive and not taking more thorough executive action.”
The action that Matthews is referring to has been an absolute joke, and for those who criticized President Bush for his “lack of response to Katrina,” need to take a long look at where we are right now with this oil spill. The federal government has not been there since day one. It took Obama over a week to even make an initial statement about the incident. It then took him nearly a month to travel to the Gulf to survey the area for the first time, but the government did do something, in that time they bashed BP and sent lawyers and other litigators down to the Gulf to “ensure that BP would properly compensate all affected by the incident.” The federal government’s reaction and attempts to help BP have been uninspired, unenthusiastic, lethargic, and unmotivating.
Mere days after the explosion occurred and the spill started, countries like Denmark and the Netherlands called to help by offering up to 15 skimmer boats that could be sent to the Gulf immediately to vacuum up to 20,000 gallons of oil per boat. Also, around that same time, independent contractors with similar boats in Arizona and New Hampshire called the federal government to send their boats, almost 10 more, but the government told them that these boats were not necessary and utilizing them would be in violation of a 1920s law, the Jones Act. Newsflash: the Jones Act was supposed to be enforced to keep foreign vessels out of our waters for economic and security purposes, but in times of an emergency, it can be suspended; FYI: President Bush suspended the Act during the aftermath of Katrina to utilize all help possible. Also, states like New Hampshire have offered their “oil booms” which are a large netting material used to contain and secure oil should it spill into water or other locations. Again, the government said that utilization of these materials would not be necessary.
Solutions have been offered to the federal government days after the incident occurred, yet, all these solutions were turned down by the government. Most recently, modified barges were shut down by the Coast Guard on orders from the federal government when they were using equipment on these barges to vacuum the oil, but these barges “did not meet OSHA regulations due to the barges not containing life preservers or fire extinguishers.” So the cleanup and containment by both BP and the federal government has been unorganized, undermanned, and inadequate, but Obama wants America to think towards the future and more specifically to a green America. Well Mr. President, although President Bush, FEMA, and his administration did not carry out a foolproof and masterful plan after Katrina, at least they had a specific plan as to what they were going to do and how long it would take. No timetable and no details about the containment/cleanup indicate to us that you are not equipped or competent to handle this crisis let alone “capitalize on this crisis.”
This just in: despite the moratorium and cessation the Obama Administration has placed on offshore drilling, Rasmussen Reports latest poll on June 17th reveal that 60% of Americans continue to favor offshore drilling despite this latest oil spill.