President Claims Government Was in Charge of BP All Along

The White House press conference has just wrapped up.  It was primarily focused on the Gulf Oil Spill (which is appropriate.)  Here’s a recap, with comments:

“Underscores the urgent need for our nation to develop clean, renewable energy.”  We agree, Mr. President.  So why is that development not happening?  President Obama goes on to inform us that the House is preparing such a bill, and that the Senate is working on a bipartisan bill regarding renewable energy as well, to “Answer this challenge once and for all.”  Sorry, Sir, but that’s largely rhetoric.  This is the moment of conception for our nation’s move to Green energy.  It’s hardly a “once and for all” circumstance.  On that score, we’ll see what the bills hold.

Now on to the oil spill.  “We are relying on every expert… we will take ideas from anywhere.”  Apparently not, Mr. President.  Protect The Ocean has been stonewalled by your EPA as well as the US Coast Guard at every turn.  We have attempted to provide information as to the dangers of pouring Corexit into the ocean, but been ignored.  On several occasions, promises of return phone calls came back empty.  Even the suggestion of putting a delivery pipe on the one which has a valve installed on it (so as to collect all of that oil and reduce pressure to the others) went unheeded and unanswered.   But wait, it gets better.

The President claims that the “White House has been directing all activities from Day-One.”  He claims that the White House was overseeing BP’s use of Corexit in direct violation of the Clean Water Act of 1972?  He takes responsibility for their use of solvents, which was clearly only going to benefit BP since they can’t clean up what can’t be found at surface?

Next he goes on to reassure the public that, except for 3 locations in Louisiana, “all the Gulf beaches are open, hey are safe, and they are clean.”  Beg to differ, Mr. President.  There’s nothing safe or clean about the oil or Corexit, and Corexit has preceded the arrival of the oil by several days at the Louisiana shoreline.  It is an inaccurate characterization, and may prove dangerous to the public.  People taking their vacations at the Gulf in a month may find themselves swimming in toxic Corexit, not to mention the biohazards of the dead flora and fauna.  Irresponsible blanket statement, sir.

The President laid out five ponts, after saying that he had placed a 30 day moratorium on new permits to allow for a study:

  1. Suspend planned Alaskan exploration
  2. Cancel offshore lease bidding for the Gulf of Mexico and Virginia
  3. Six month suspension  of Deepwater explorations
  4. Six month suspension of the 33 current Deepwater projects
  5. Executive Order to form a National Commission to investigate the BP explosion.

Then came the Q&A session, which was often a repeat.  President Obama said that the White House has “understood from day-one the enormous potential” damage.  He went on to say that the highest priority became to stop the leak and to mitigate damage, and that the “U.S. government has always been in charge of making sure (BP’s) response was appropriate,” and that “we were fully empowered to tell them to do something different.”  Yet when questioned about BP’s ignoring the EPA directives, the rhetoric was empty.

The President claimed that BP’s interests are aligned with that of the public interest to the extent that it is costing them a lot of money…  We must object, and loudly.  BP’s interest in spending less money was what caused this in the first place.  Their desire to spend less money in cleanup is what caused millions of gallons of Corexit to be poured into the Gulf.  Their only interest is to reduce liability.  OUR interest is to protect our oceans and the ecology.  These are NOT the same goals, Mr. President.

The final statement was chilling, once thought upon.  The President said “I take responsibility.”  I hope not, Mr. President, because if justice is served, those responsible will be spending a long time in jail for the willful negligence and intentional violations of our nation’s Clean Water Act.

Read: Press Conference Transcript

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