Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 70: The Issue of Criminal Negligence

Quin Hillyer has an excellent spot at American Spectator this morning regarding the Gulf oil crisis.  As I asked yesterday, "When does incompetence cross the line and become criminal?", Hillyer has a response:

In short, bad as the Bush response to Katrina has been, Obama's response to the oil spill has been far, far worse -- to the degree where it is, in moral terms, almost criminally negligent. 

And he elaborates (emphasis mine):

This disaster was all BP's fault, and in the long run BP should pay and pay and pay and pay and pay for its numerous violations of basic safety and response rules and practices. But the EFFECT of the disaster on the coasts and in the wetlands, and in the whole Gulf eco-system, could have been so greatly lessened if the administration were competent and caring that the blame for long-term damage must read in the Oval Office, in the person of that cold, detached Alinskyite who sees in this spill nothing more than yet another opportunity to stop other offshore drilling and push cap and trade. The word for his response, in every sense of the word, is "rotten." 

Spot on.

Today's latest delay comes from BP and their decision to delay implementation of a new containment system because of weather concerns.  Why this system isn't already in place 70 days into the disaster isn't clear.

The AP has a report on the psychological toll of the spill, which will only be compounded by continued delays and ineffective management from the federal response team.

By the way, the Taiwanese A-Whale still isn't in the Gulf skimming oil today.  Ed Morrissey wrote about this wrinkle last week.  The skimmer still, STILL, needs clearance from the EPA and probably a Jones Act waiver, although this is not a shore skimming vessel. The A-Whale would  be working much further out from the shore than most skimmers.  Anything outside of three miles from shore is free from Jones Act rules.  But, I'm not clear on the issue of after the oil is collected; should the A-Whale come to American port, or transfer the oil to an American ship, does it need a waiver then? Any Jones Act experts out there, please feel free to clear that up for me.

Why hasn't this ship already been approved?  Because the Coast Guard has to do a study and a report:

Coast Guard inspectors toured the ship for about four hours on Thursday to determine the ship's efficacy and whether it was fit to be deployed, said Capt. Matthew Sisson, commanding officer of the Coast Guard's Research and Development arm in New London, Conn.

"We take all offers of alternative technology very seriously," Sisson said. The ship, he said, is "an impressive engineering feat."

He would not offer a timetable for Coast Guard approval of the vessel, but said he will try to "turn around a report … as soon as humanely possible."

I want to know who is going to have the cojones  to stand up to this administration and finally call foul over this.

Criminal negligence, indeed.

(Oh, and thanks to Jim Geraghty for the link in The Morning Jolt today!)


david7134 said...

It is my understanding that the ship's ok is being held up as it does not pass EPA guidelines. As the ship processes the oil/water combo, it removes something like 90% of the oil and discharges the oil tainted water into the sea. According to the EPA, this is not acceptable and would be a violation. Due to the mass quantities of water processed, it would be impossible to store the processed water.

As to the BP safety violations, can someone point me to a site that list the violations? I can assure you that medicare thinks that I am a terrible doctor because a few interns did not write out that they had prescribed aspirin on all of one of the three or four discharge forms that they filled out a midnight after being awake for 48 hours. Despite the fact that I called the patient and was reassured that they had received the message.

I feel that our government is broken. The nature of this collaspe is not one that can be solved at the ballot. In fact, both parties have contributed to this culture of stupidity. In the past, countries have solved the problem with a considerable amount of bloodletting. Eventually we will have to do the same. I figure that when Obama gets his wish for $8 a gallon gas as a result of his efforts to thwart any recovery of the oil, economy, industry, etc., that we will have the American people just about ready.

Also, any reference to BP dilutes the perception of the true reason for the mess, which is the government. BP's actual offense has yet to be clearly defined.

Red said...

Congrats on the link back from NRO.

Pat Austin Becker said...


Thanks for the info. This is what The Foundry had to say on that this afternoon:

"The second problem is that the ship would gather spilled oil, separate the water from the oil, and discharge the water back into the ocean so its tanks could be filled with oil. Our EPA has a problem with that, because the discharge would retain a minor amount of oily residue. To EPA, any residue greater than 15 parts per million is impermissible. They elevate perfection above the need for speed."

I'm with them; I can deal with a little oily residue rather than what we're getting now. It's better than nothing. The booms could at least filter some of that out.

PollyandCrackers said...

There is a media blackout and BP and the government are censoring what you see and what you know about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Learn more:

Bob Belvedere said...

Quoted from and Linked to at:
Go Pat Austin, Go Pat Austin Go!