Obama’s Response to Gulf Oil Spill: Passive and Incompetent

May 25, 2010

Over a month after an explosion caused a massive oil leak a mile under water, the Obama administration continues its inexplicable failure to help address the crisis.

Rather than marshal the full resources of the federal government including military assets to alleviate the damage and participate in the work on stopping the leak, Obama’s focus has been on blaming Britsh Petroleum (BP). BP is certainly responsible for the accident. But when an accident like this threatens major portions of our coast across multiple states, the first response of the federal government should be to provide available resources to help stop the spill and to work on alleviating the damage.

Instead Obama, in speech after speech, continues to focus on blaming BP and emphasizing their responsibility to stop the spill and pay for the clean up. No one disagrees with this, but when a disaster of this magnitude strikes and when BP doesn’t seem to have the capabilities they are supposed to have, the federal focus should be to throw available resources at the problem rather than continuously emphasizing who is to blame.

Strangely, an activist administration that jumps at every opportunity to impose a government “solution” to a problem has been unusually passive in its response to the Gulf oil disaster. Does Obama want maximum damage so that he can make the oil industry the next by villain (after banks, insurance companies and doctors to name a few) or is this simply a symptom of gross incompetence?

Obama even appointed a commission to study the cause of the disaster and make recommendations in six months on how to prevent similar accidents in the future. Can we please focus on the immediate problem and do all the inevitable follow up when the situation is under control?

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has proposed a plan to build and connect barrier islands to keep more oil away from the coastline and inland marshes. The proposal requires federal approval and Jindal has been waiting for two weeks while the federal government fails to act.

If this had happened under President Bush, the media would be permanently camped out on the Gulf coast filming birds with oil on their wings nonstop and blaming the president for unspeakable evil motives. Under President Obama, on the other hand, the media is failing to hold the administration accountable to even minimal standards of competence.

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