It has been apparent from the outset that the Obama administration had no wish to be responsible for fixing this problem without having some sort of “plausible deniability.” They saw what happened to George W. Bush with New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina and wanted no part of that kind of trap. Instead, the White House embarked on a program of finger-pointing, bad-mouthing, scolding, and threats. Reckless, greedy, and incompetent as BP may be, this only made the company’s task considerably harder to perform—especially with the government’s much publicized “boot on their throat.”
Nobody along the Gulf Coast has a crystal ball or divining rod to read what’s in the administration’s mind, but anyone with a brain can see that a massive effort will be necessary to avert an ecological and economic catastrophe. Between double and ten times the presently available personnel and equipment is needed, and they are needed now.