The Oil Spill Blame Game

I called this blog Center Debate for reasons spelled out in the “Mission Statement”. While my written views here make it clear that I lean right I also will continue to argue that it is simplistic to try placing us all in one of two categories. While I disagree with much of the left’s positions I have been critical of GOP politicians-especially the Bush presidents. I am staunchly pro-free markets.

The ongoing mess in the Gulf of Mexico is a true test of these convictions. Here is my attempt at balance:

BP screwed up. Big time. They own this. If you are going to engage in deep water drilling you had better have your disaster plans ready. I watched an ABC reporter tour the Louisiana shore line with the BP Chairman who stuck to the company line of “We’re doing everything we can…blah blah blah.” Behind him were a handful of workers in white “Haz Mat” suits with shovels and kitchen garbage bags cleaning by hand. It would be laughable if it were not so utterly insulting. All along I have shouted at the TV, “Where is the big BP equipment sucking up this precious oil and dumping into tankers?” It floats ferchrisake. You can skim it off the top. You can suck in tankers’ full and then pump the water out from the bottom.

For once big business is almost entirely to blame. I defended the oil companies when crude hit $145 per barrel. I still support extensive drilling. I still think the cry for alternative energy to replace fossil fuels is incredibly naive. I think that man-caused global warming has been exposed to be an orchestrated fraud. I think some democrats need to admit that their party, and to a great extent our country, has allowed extremists waving the environmental flag to gain undue influence in our energy policy and in doing so has endangered our national security. Russia and a good chunk of the world who are not friendly to the US are cornering energy markets and stockpiling weapons. We are tilting at windmills and appeasing tyrants.

BP has done proponents of free markets and pragmatic energy policy a real disservice.  It would behoove the other major oil companies to assist BP in plugging this leak and cleaning up the mess.

As for the Obama administration they are steadily losing credibility in this and other important issues. Their stance should be obvious: First, do whatever is necessary to contain this mess. Offer BP the full support of the US government. There will be time for the blame game later. The longer this takes to fix the more the Obama crew deserves to share in the blame. Administrations don’t cause disasters-Bush didn’t cause Katrina-but the way they respond is open to review.

Lastly, one of the major contributing factors in this mess is the depth at which BP was drilling. The well head is a full mile down. The only reason BP is drilling under these difficult conditions is because the coastal areas are under a drilling ban. Land based drilling in Alaska is much safer than this but is also banned. This disaster does not change those facts. We are many decades away from an oil free world. It’s time to put the grownups back in charge and put in place a sensible energy policy-one that will withstand the every four year change of administrations.

Pat Duggan

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Published in: on May 25, 2010 at 10:38 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Very thoughtful post. I think your assessment of blame – both current and “prospective” is very on-target. There is no way that BP doesn’t deserve some blame for not having a contingency plan for an oil spill. Similarly, there is no way the Administration doesn’t deserve some blame for not having a contingency plan for an oil spill (and for the ridiculously slow initial response)!

    Of course this will be used to vilify the oil companies and make drilling even more difficult. That’s where I think you hit the nail on the head. Love the post!

  2. […] There was also a bit of a sigh of relief when the Coast Guard reported the Gulf of Mexico oil leak has been at least temporarily plugged (BP, however, would ‘neither confirm nor deny,’ which sounds like the lawyers picked up the phone). I’m not sure that this should have much market impact, but it does remove something that could have been a potential negative down the road (if the leak stays plugged). The environmental damage is enormously tragic, but the long-term issue is really what the whole episode does to the future prospects of energy exploration. A friend of mine had what I thought was a pretty even-handed – and brief – analysis on the econo-political ramifications at his blog here. […]


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