Sunday, August 8, 2010

Obama Administration's Response to Gulf Oil Spill VERY SUCCESSFUL

Kudos to the Obama administration for a highly successful response to the Gulf oil spill to this point. Very much unlike the Bush administration's near absent response to Hurricane Katrina, there has been a swift and coordinated effort in this case.

President Obama's Energy Advisor Carol Browner (eerily close to "Brownie", Bush's failed and fired FEMA director), appearing on "Meet the Press" today, said "I think phase one is over because the well is not leaking. We see this as phase one and not the end by any means. This is the largest response ever to an environmental disaster. We had over 6,000 vessels, 40,000 people. There was skimming, there was containing, there was was very successful. The good new is that we are not seeing huge amounts of oil on the beaches and in the marshes. But there is still much work work to do."

Not only has the response effort been successful, but I believe my son, who is a political communications professional, would say the communications rollout, such as the above effective statement, has been superb. Effective communications with the public and getting the accurate message directly to the public, (around bias media outlets), quickly and often, is hugely important in such an endeavor.

Browner went on to say, "BP will be held absolutely accountable. There will be a large financial penalty. They will be responsible for paying to clean up the natural resource damages." Regarding the Gulf coast senator's proposal that 80% of the BP fines go to the Gulf Coast recovery, Browner said, "I think that makes alot of sense. The President is in favor of returning it to the region."

It is interesting how the three "small government" Republican Governors of the affected Gulf coast states (and the senators) were very welcoming of assistance and coordination from the federal government during the crisis. This is very understandable. But it certainly flies in the face of their constant call to limit the federal government's role in our lives. This is a perfect example of conservatives opposing government involvement until and unless the program or effort directly benefits them.

Browner went on to say that the deep-water drilling moratorium would be lifted if and when appropriate (good news for the "drill baby drill" group). She says an energy bill could be done during the lame duck session coming up. A comprehensive energy bill to address drilling safety, to promote alternative fuel development, to raise the cap for damages oil companies have to pay as result of spills, and to provide financial incentives to weatherize homes, would be a real plus for the American people and for the Obama Administration.

Hopefully Republicans will be on board for the energy bill now that cap and trade has been removed from consideration. And hopefully we can all give the administration a bi-partisan commendation and thank you for an effort well done in the Gulf oil spill crisis to this point. We still do that don't we?

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