The Daily Beast reports:
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.Obama has known from Day One how bad this oil spill would be and how devastatingly detrimental to the Gulf Coast it would be.
More specifically, he was briefed and told to prepare for the fact that this spill would likely spew until August.
On the other hand, if he really is powerless to do anything because the feds simply don’t have the expertise to cap a well the way BP does, what was he supposed to have done after Browner briefed him?Yes, he could have given a national address warning the public how bad it would be, but AP is right - the political backlash would be something he would make every effort to avoid.
No, Allahpundit goes on to say,
The real disgrace here is why, if he really did know right away that this was the oil equivalent of an asteroid strike, he didn’t scramble some sort of all-hands-on-deck emergency operation to protect the coastline. Remember, Jindal reportedly requested five million feet of hard boom back on May 2, long after Obama (according to Wolffe) knew about the magnitude of the disaster. By May 24, not even 800,000 feet had arrived. What happened?
What happened? The golf course beckoned at least seven times, and hiking in the mountains, and Paul McCartney lobbing cheap shots at Bush while a guest in the White House, and date night, parties, fundraisers ...:
A reader at Instapundit suggests that Obama's lack of concern might be *gasp* political in nature:
I hate to be a cynic, but have you looked at how the affected states have voted? How many of them did Obama carry? Also, at least 3 of the 4 governors are Republicans, although Charlie Crist is questionable.
I bet if it was California it would be all hands on deck from day 1.To which Professor Reynolds replies:
Nonsense. If that cynical analysis were correct, we’d have seen Obama ignoring the Nashville flood, Kentucky ice storms, etc.
As bad as the pictures of oil covered pelicans are, this is only going to get worse. What in the world could be an acceptable explanation from Obama for failing to do everything in the federal government's power to help protect the Gulf coastline and Louisiana wetlands when he has known from Day One how bad it's going to be?
Answer? There is none.
He may not have the power to part the waters and smite the leaking hole in the ocean closed, but he does have the resources and power at his disposal to marshal all hands on deck to the coast and get those berms built, get the booms in place, and get the clean up going. Governor Bobby Jindal has been begging for these resources for weeks.
Jindal is losing patience with BP, too:
NOLA reports that finally, FINALLY St. Bernard Parish has received 28 miles of hard boom from BP to protect its shores:
Until Thursday, the parish had taken delivery of 200,000 feet of soft boom to absorb oil sheen but had been told by BP that the 150,000 feet of requested hard boom was not on hand and no delivery date could be guaranteed, according to reports posted on the state's Web Emergency Operations Center system.
This is where, it seems to me, Obama should be concentrating his efforts, rather than on the golf course. He could have done something to see to it that St. Bernard had that layer of protection when they asked for it. The answer "not available" from BP is not acceptable and if Team Obama really does have its "boot on the neck" of BP, that boom should have already been in St. Bernard parish.
They've known since April that this spill would be a devastating environmental disaster and Team Obama did what, exactly? Besides a photo op of Obama poking his finger in the sand?
Are we still wondering if it's "Obama's Katrina"? I'm not.
(More on the non-response at Memeorandum)