So, President Obama, about that whole offshore drilling expansion idea...
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency Thursday in preparation for the arrival of an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that was expected to reach land Friday.I'm thinking that maybe you should have waited a few months to announce that "Drill baby drill" policy. No offense, but this is exactly what environmentalists (you know them as Dirty Effin Hippie Bloggers, the ones that Rahm is always complaining about) have been warning of. Now you've got this huge national emergency sized oil spill that's more than likely going to cause massive damage to Louisiana's coast and may even be a larger disaster than Katrina, cutting through wildlife and coastal communities like a scythe.
The U.S. military may be called on to assist authorities scrambling to mitigate the potential environmental disaster posed by the spill that's expanding toward the Louisiana coastline, officials said Thursday.
At a White House briefing, federal authorities, including Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, pledged a robust response. Napolitano said she has designated the leak a "spill of national significance," meaning officials can draw down assets from other areas to combat it.
A command center already is open in Robert, Louisiana. A second will be opened in Mobile, Alabama, Napolitano said. She said she will travel Friday to the Gulf Coast, along with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson.
"Everything's on the table," as far as options under consideration, said David Hayes, deputy interior secretary.
It may take weeks or longer to cap this thing off, and meanwhile it's spreading 200,000 gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico. And our best idea right now is to set it on fire? Look, any process that includes anywhere on the flowchart the words "Use Controlled Burn" and "Find Four Hundred Metric Tons Of Concrete To Plug Hole" is not a viable process. Until we come up with a better and safer way to do this, expanding offshore drilling is ludicrous.
Oh wait, those safeguards exist, but BP just wasn't using them.
The oil well spewing crude into the Gulf of Mexico didn't have a remote-control shut-off switch used in two other major oil-producing nations as last-resort protection against underwater spills.And why aren't those remote cut-off switches used here? Too expensive for the energy companies, of course...not like the cost of cleaning up after a catastrophe like this...because the real problem is that we're almost out of time. This oil slick will be hitting land as early as tomorrow and when that happens, fire's just not an option anymore.
Oh, and this gets worse, guess who's involved in the operations of this particular oil rig?
The widow of a crew member killed in last week's oil platform explosion in the Gulf of Mexico has filed a lawsuit accusing the companies that operated the rig with negligence, court documents showed Tuesday.Why, it's our old Bush/Cheney friends at Halliburton! Gee, suddenly how we got into this mess starts making a whole lot of sense, doesn't it?
The suit was filed by Natalie Roshto against Transocean Ltd, British Petroleum and Halliburton after the blast that killed her husband Shane, a seaman on the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig.
The good news is that the Obama administration is now "reevaluating" the offshore policy. I don't see how they exactly have a choice, and the time to implement strict new safety measures before any more drilling happens is now. Until the energy companies can prove that another disaster like this won't happen again, expanding offshore drilling needs to be off the table.
And as far as I'm concerned, that means off the table for good.