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May 24, 2010

Gov. Bobby Jindal Rips Obama For Slowness On Oil Spill

Video at the link. The problem is with sand-booms needed to protect Louisiana's shores from the invasion of oil.

The video is worth watching, but here's a transcript of some of his remarks.

Note his Tea Party-like vow.

"It is so much better for us. We don't want oil on one inch of Louisiana's coastline, but we'd much rather fight this oil off of a hard coast, off of an island, off of an island, off of a sandy beach on our coastal islands, rather than having to fight it inside in these wetlands," Gov. Jindal said, making the case for sand booms.

The governor said he has been forced to protect Louisiana without the approval of the Army Corps of Engineers, which is weighing the ecological impact of the construction of more sand booms.

"We are not waiting for them. We are going to build it," Jindal said.

"We can either fight battle -- we can fight this oil -- on the Barrier Islands 15 to 20 miles off of our coast, or we can face it in thousands of miles of fragmented wetlands," Gov. Jindal said, clearing favoring the first option. "Every day we're not given approval on this emergency permit to create more of these sand booms is another day when that choice is made for us, as more and more miles of our shore are hit by oil."

One federal official is kinda-sorta taking responsibility for the inadequate response, for once.

Somehow I don't think Obama will follow his lead.

The oil mass continues moving west, and as the toxic sludge begins to make landfall in Terrebonne, Capt. Edwin Stanton, who heads up the Coast Guard’s response, is taking blame.

“The governor is right. It’s too slow, and if it’s anybody’s fault, it’s mine, for not pushing (BP) hard enough perhaps,” Stanton said.“We did have a problem with getting boom down here to begin with, but there seems to be boom that is in the staging areas that needs to be put out.”

Then, in an exchange with a reporter, he went further.

Stanton: “It’s my job to direct this response in Louisiana.”

Reporter: “Why didn’t you do it?”

Stanton: “Well, the why — is that really important?”

Reporter: “Yes sir, we live here.”

Stanton: “Well, I guess I’m just slow and dumb.”

That answer is kind of dismissive -- I don't think he really believes that -- but at least he's acknowledging his responsibility.

Palin made a halfway similar criticism of Obama.

“If there's any connection there to President Obama taking so doggone long to get in there, to dive in there, and grasp the complexity and the potential tragedy that we are seeing here in the Gulf of Mexico -- now, if this was President Bush or if this were a Republican in office who hadn't received as much support even as President Obama has from B.P. and other oil companies, you know the mainstream media would be all over his case," she said.

Gibbs fired back that the former Alaska governor needs a lesson in how the oil industry works.


"Sarah Palin was involved in that election but, I don't think she was paying a whole lot of attention," Gibbs said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

"I'm almost sure that the oil companies don't consider the Obama administration a huge ally," he said, adding, "My suggestion to Sarah Palin would be to get slightly more informed as to what's going on in and around oil drilling in this country."

Palin used Twitter shortly thereafter to respond to Gibbs.

"Obama is the top recipient of BP PAC & individual money over the past 20 years. Dispute these facts," she wrote, linking to a Politico article citing campaign finance reporting showing more than $3.5 million given to candidates by BP since 1990.

The largest single donation by BP -- $77,051 -- went to Obama.

A big question I have is why wasn't there, already present in the Gulf, the equipment needed to contain or plug a leaking well? Why are we so far behind, scrambling, after the disaster has been ongoing for 33 days?

Please don't call me a socialist when I say that if a company is engaging in an inherently dangerous activity, there should be laws requiring them to have the equipment necessary to contain a disaster. Sure, you can demolish a building through explosive force if needed -- but you have to pay the Fire Department and EMTs to have personnel on site. You can't just trust that you placed you charges properly.

A disaster will happen; they always do. This is just a fact of life.

What makes it criminal is that there was no back-up plan ready to roll.

Apparently Plan A for this was "the well will not explode." Period. End of sentence, end of file. There was no Plan B in case it did explode because... see Plan A: The well will not explode. How many times do I have to tell you? There will not be a disaster -- that's our plan for containing a disaster.

Was there really no law requiring a ready-to-be-deployed cap to be present in the theater, in case a well exploded?

I'm assuming there was supposed to be some kind of disaster-preparedness going on here, required by law -- but there wasn't.

And who, exactly, is chargable for that? Bush?

Bush hasn't been president for more than a year. Who was responsible for enforcing the nation's law the past fifteen months? Am I dreaming, or was that President Peter Perfect?

BTW: I think Rand Paul's response to this -- whining about the "boot on the neck" of BP -- is both horrible policy and even worse politics.

Wretched politics. Only Rand Paul feels sympathy for poor, put-upon BP.

The American people are not really in the mood to cut BP a break on this. Yes, understand disasters happen. I cannot fathom why there is no plan already being deployed.

That is, in fact, criminal.

Like I said: If you have to demolish a building with explosives, fine, the government shouldn't prohibit that, exactly. But it should be enforcing reasonable safety measures for inherently dangerous activities.

And if the guy blowing up a building doesn't have fire extinguishers handy when he pushes the button -- Yes, he's to blame. (And so is the government, for not having inspected to make sure those extinguishers were present.)

It's not "boot on the neck." It's common sense.


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posted by Ace at 03:07 PM

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