Politics, Oil, Obama

Just wanted to point out a few facts that aren’t getting much coverage.  I saw these in a Yahoo news story earlier today that I had bookmarked, but when I went back to it, Yahoo had “updated” the story and removed the stuff I wanted to talk about.  But I found the stuff in a story from WGN.

A few quotes from the article:  Today, he stopped at a beach where absorbent booms and sandbags have been laid for miles to try to keep more oil from washing ashore. Hmmm….  Where did those “miles” of “absorbent booms and sandbags” to keep the oil off the shore come from?  You think the Federal government did it?  Or BP?  Be honest now….  🙂

“It’s a dog and pony show. What can he really do?” said Billy Ward, 53, who comes to his beach house here every weekend. It’s always a dog and pony show when any official visits any disaster area.  They can’t do anything, and they distract from the work that the people (who can do something) are doing.  But it makes for nice photo ops for the politician.

To be fair, the politician is in a no win situation.  He’s accused of being aloof and non-caring if he doesn’t show up, and people like me (and Billy Ward) point out the hypocrisy involved if he does show up.

No oil could be seen in the water during Obama’s helicopter ride from New Orleans, over Louisiana bayous, to Port Fourchon down the coast from Grand Isle. I think that bears repeating – Obama took a helicopter ride from New Orleans, down the coast in order to see the damage.  He found none.  Zero.  “No oil could be seen”.

Go ahead, look up Port Fourchon LA on a map.  Look up Grand Isle LA.  Look at the amount of coastline and water that Obama flew over attempting to see oil washed up and polluting the beaches.  Damn.  Couldn’t find any.  (Maybe, just maybe, this isn’t as big of a disaster as some media outlets are making it out to be.)

That changed when he arrived at Fourchon Beach, however. A shirt-sleeved Obama walked to the water’s edge, stooping as Adm. Thad Allen of the Coast Guard explained what he was seeing.

The beach, sealed off with crime-scene-style yellow tape, is one of the few sandy stretches on Louisiana’s coast, where most is marshland. Obama called reporters traveling with him to the water’s edge and picked up a few pebble-sized tar balls. No other oil was visible. Again, I think it’s important to point this out -mainly because it seems to be hard to find oil on the LA coast.  I could be wrong about this, but assuming Obama was looking for a photo op and this was the best he could do, I think we’re in pretty damn good shape so far.

It’s also important to note that “tar balls” wash up on beaches all the time from oil that oozes naturally from the floor of the gulf.  When they found some on FL beaches last week, everybody freaked.  But when it turned out that the tar balls couldn’t be blamed on BP the frenzy quickly faded away and it stopped being news.  Morons.  A tar ball is a tar ball.  Why would one be ok but another be a disaster?

“These are the tarballs that they’re talking about,” he said. “You can actually send out teams to pick up as they wash on shore.”
So send em out!  WTF are you doing?  If it’s that easy to clean up, station people on the beaches and clean it up.

More from the story: Early in the morning in advance of the president’s arrival, hundreds of workers clad in white jump suits and rubber gloves hit the beaches to dig oily debris from the sand and haul it off. Workers refused to say who hired them, telling a reporter only they were told to keep quiet or lose their jobs. Sounds like someone is cleaning up the oil.  Maybe BP?  It also sounds like where Obama was going to visit was a poorly kept secret, and that perhaps someone decided to clean it before he got there to keep from being embarrassed.  But if a beach can be cleaned in one morning, there obviously wasn’t much there to begin with.

I do not want to diminish the impact of this spill.  It’s obviously not a good thing, and I don’t think anyone is saying that.  On the other hand, I’ve seen blogs and comments on news stories where they basically say that BP could have stopped this a long time ago, but they didn’t want to have to seal the well because they wanted to be able to get that oil.  That’s simply BS.   If they could have shut down the well at once they would have done so.   Does anyone honestly think BP wants this publicity?  Maybe leftist conspiracy nuts would go there, but as a Libertarian nut, I won’t.  🙂

gk

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One Response

  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/30/opinion/30shaw.html?hp

    Note that Susan had to go “a few miles off the Pass a Loutre wetlands in southern Louisiana” in order to “dive into the oil slick”. Just wanted to point that out. It’s also important to note that although she states the the dispersant is “bioaccumulative, meaning its concentration intensifies as it moves up the food chain” she also says that it causes the young fish and larvae to die, which will lead to starvation for the larger predator fish.

    Which is it? Do the small fish live with the chemical which then bioaccumulates into larger species, or do they die, which means the larger species starve? I readily admit that neither is a good thing, but they are mutually exclusive. In other words, get your story straight before you publish an opinion piece in the New York Times.

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