White House hits reverse on off-shore drilling after Gulf spill

posted at 2:55 pm on April 30, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

I’d borrow the AP’s favorite adverb on economic data, but this is so completely not unexpected that this development probably won’t get much play otherwise.  Facing a backlash on the Left already over his mildly encouraging earlier statement on offshore drilling, the White House moved quickly to assure everyone after the ongoing Gulf of Mexico spill that Barack Obama only meant that in the hypothetical sense. David Axelrod made the obligatory backpedal on Good Morning America today:

In Rose Garden remarks meant to showcase the improving economy, Obama pivoted to talk about the oil rig explosion. Arguing that oil company BP is ultimately responsible, Obama said he continues to support oil drilling as part of an energy package, “but I’ve always said it must be done responsibly, for the safety of our workers and our environment.”

Pressed to explain the apparent presidential turn-about, White House adviser David Axelrod said on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” “All he has said is that he is not going to continue the moratorium” on drilling. As for moving forward, he added, “No additional drilling has been authorized, and none will until we find out what happened here and whether there was something unique and preventable here.”

“Obama’s Katrina”? So far, it’s not even Obama’s Exxon Valdez. The government has responded reasonably well, but it’s going to be up to the oil company to get this under control. Other than the eleven workers who died in the April 20th explosion, there has been no other loss of life, nor does it threaten to lay waste to entire urban populations.  It’s important for conservatives to remember that the oil company has the responsibility of cleaning up its mess.

While off-shore drilling does entail risks, it’s also noteworthy that this has been the first major spill in decades, even in the Gulf, where drilling has continued while government declared the outer continental shelf off limits. That hasn’t stopped the hysterical reaction, however:

The accident in the gulf may provide more firepower for the critics on the left who for years have lobbied presidents and Congress to keep in place federal moratoriums on further offshore exploration. Those moratoriums have expired.

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D) called on Obama to step back from his expanded offshore drilling plans. In a letter to the president, Nelson said he would file legislation to ban the Interior Department from following through on Obama’s proposal for new seismic and drilling activity. He said the gulf spill “may be an environmental and economic disaster that wreaks havoc for commercial fishing and tourism along the Gulf of Mexico coast.”

Dan McLaughlin, a top aide to Nelson, said it was too early to say whether the federal government had responded adequately to what he called “our worst nightmare come true.” But McLaughlin asked why the government had not done more to ensure that the oil companies could shut down a well if a catastrophic failure happened. “Somebody is going to have to ask the question as to why the regulators didn’t put this question to the industry before?” McLaughlin said. “If everything fails, then what?”

The US needs to investigate how this could have been prevented and implement any necessary changes. It doesn’t change the fact that we still need oil, and we’re much better off getting our own resources rather than inflating the profits of kleptocrats and radical regimes around the world by refusing to touch our own reserves. If Washington and the media manage to maintain some rational perspective on this, though, that would be most unexpected.

Update (AP): Ace has an excellent, albeit depressing, post on the retail politics of this issue too. Quote:

The Exxon Valdez disaster ushered in a new, bad era of restrictivist energy policy, and higher-than-it-ought-to-be dependence on Middle East oil, and just as we’re finally getting past that, oh, look, dead otters.

Wonderful. Just wonderful.

Of course, the Valdez disaster was due to transhipment of oil, which our zero-new-production policy will cause more of, and thus more spills in the shipping process, but the Stupid Segment of the public has a memory only extending back a few months, so now, shipping oil is the greatest thing (until we can all get our solar on, at least) and domestic drilling is just awful so by all means let’s continue increasing the portion of oil we get from Iran. (And we do get it from Iran — these commodities are fungible, after all. If we don’t get it from Iran, that’s just because China is buying our portion of Iran’s oil at a slight discount. On the net, it’s just like we’re paying for Iran’s oil any way you slice it.)…

[A] lot of our representatives will now run away from pushing back against this bleak future of ever-escalating energy prices and resultant diminishment of prosperity and opportunity, and, we might rage against them for that, but you know what? What can they do? They can only go forward if we have their backs, politically, and while we do have their backs, about one-third of their necessary level of public support just peeled off from them (Think of the otters), and so they now have to choose between doing the right and winning and election, except that’s not even really the choice, because they can’t do the right thing if they’re not elected in the first place.


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First off, this was an accident.

ClassicCon on April 30, 2010 at 3:32 PM

How do you know?

This is the perfect “crisis” to give Obama legitimacy to keep us from drilling for oil. The enviro-nazi’s had planned on using “global warming” but that ship is pretty much sunk even though the die hards are still trying to push it.

I put absolutely nothing past the left. Just look at their record.

darwin on April 30, 2010 at 4:24 PM

Eco-terrorist to ObieWan: We’ll blow it up so you will have an excuse to renig on your fake promise to start drilling. ObieWan: Thanks, I was worried I’d just have to settle for it being a bald-faced lie, and those are getting old.

TimothyJ on April 30, 2010 at 4:25 PM

DRILL BABY DRILL – Sarah Palin

How’s that working out for ya?

Constant Parrhesia on April 30, 2010 at 4:18 PM

“The most transparent administration in history” – Barack Obama

How’s that working out for ya?

darwin on April 30, 2010 at 4:25 PM

Does someone have a list of the dead and missing workers? I haven’t seen the expected media event of Obama meeting with the grieving relatives.

Buddahpundit on April 30, 2010 at 4:26 PM

Effing democrats.

Inanemergencydial on April 30, 2010 at 4:28 PM

Has anyone seen any news stories about the “cause” of the disaster?

Usually when the state run media leaves something out, they do it for a reason.

I haven’t seen anything that looks like a discussion of “why”. But maybe I wasn’t looking in the right places.

BP has been doing this off shore drilling thing for quite a while. The guys doing it are pros and don’t want to kill themselves.

But this was such a “convenient” “accident”.

CrazyGene on April 30, 2010 at 4:29 PM

First off, this was an accident. The only conspiracy is the fact that the feds allowed this problem to explode into the political/PR opportunity for the greenies that we see being exploited now. I live within walking distance of the AL coast so it is amazing hearing how the rest of the country is reacting to this.

I also find it pathetic how many citizens in this country recoil in horror when oil spills then drive out to their mailbox. I am no enviro douche, but don’t act high and mighty when 90% of American could not go one day without something being powered on.

Also, out of the millions of barrels of oil that are pumped out of this country every year, how many accidents really happen in this “dangerous” field?

ClassicCon on April 30, 2010 at 3:32 PM

I can throw a rock in the Gulf from my front door…but I don’t trust the left any further than I can throw my pickup truck.

selias on April 30, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Oil hits $4 this summer…and I’ll say something banworthy

Inanemergencydial on April 30, 2010 at 4:33 PM

It doesn’t change the fact that we still need oil, and we’re much better off getting our own resources rather than inflating the profits of kleptocrats and radical regimes around the world by refusing to touch our own reserves

That’s a false argument. US reserves are fairly insignificant and can never replace foreign oil. However, solar and wind energy can eventually replace all foreign oil over time. Along with a new generation of nuclear tech that’s on the way, the answer is to replace foreign oil with other energy sources.

It’s unfortunate to consider how many billions in lost tourism, damage to the coast seafood industry, and clean-up have been invested in loan guarantees to private clean or nuclear energy cos. Hopefully many in the decimated Louisiana seafood business can be given clean-up jobs for the next 3 to 5 years.

bayam on April 30, 2010 at 4:33 PM

I put absolutely nothing past the left. Just look at their record.

I’m looking. A little help?

YYZ on April 30, 2010 at 4:34 PM

Seriously? The White House arranged an explosion in the Gulf that killed eleven people and lead to a potential ecological disaster, just so they could back away from their own proposal to increase coastal drilling, which was announced last month?

Yes, that makes sense.

YYZ on April 30, 2010 at 3:09 PM

Only they didn’t propose to increase coastal drilling.

They took the legislation that was passed in 2008 that ended the moratorium on drilling…added some restrictions to it and heralded it as an expansion of offshore drilling.

Theoretically speaking, this would provide the perfect cover for Obama to play both sides against the middle…because, gosh darn, he’d LOVE to drill (honest!) but it’s too dangerous and bad for the environment as this disaster proves and therefore we need that green energy bill to go through the Senate.

powerpro on April 30, 2010 at 4:34 PM

Is it too much to ask to find out what an Interior Department SWAT team is, and why we need a bunch of such teams to immediately visit oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico?

No one seems to have a straight answer as far as I can tell.

Would someone in this @#*@!! administration clarify in plain English what the hell this “SWAT team” business is about?

Edouard on April 30, 2010 at 4:36 PM

I live about 30 miles from the Destin, Fort Walton Beach area and I hope that it does not impact us. As far as the shrimping industry I heard on the news last night out of Mobile, they opened the shrimping season up today to help curtail the impact. Let’s pray that helps the fishermen avoid any problems.

milwife88 on April 30, 2010 at 3:26 PM

I fear it will impact you, and soon. We have friends in Mobile and they said there are already basketball sized globs of oil visible from the shore.

We visit Navarre Beach as often as possible. Most beautiful beaches in the world, in my opinion. I hate to think of them covered in goo.
That area, between Destin and Pensacola has already seen too many major hurricanes/tropical storms lately (what, like 7 in the last 10 years?).

The businesses in the area will suffer greatly without a solid tourism season.

MississippiMom on April 30, 2010 at 4:36 PM

However, solar and wind energy can eventually replace all foreign oil over time.

bayam on April 30, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Care to post the studies that show this is possible without a huge change in how people live their lives? How fing laughable…

obligatory inquiry into the hue of your heavens?

Inanemergencydial on April 30, 2010 at 4:38 PM

US reserves are fairly insignificant and can never replace foreign oil. However, solar and wind energy can eventually replace all foreign oil over time.

bayam on April 30, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Whaaaaaat? Apparently you have no idea how much oil and natural gas we have. Try over a trillion barrels … potentially more if we could explore our own damn coasts and land.

We also have the largest coal reserves in the world. Solar and wind will never replace fossil fuels … only nuclear can come close to providing replacement energy.

darwin on April 30, 2010 at 4:39 PM

That’s a false argument. US reserves are fairly insignificant and can never replace foreign oil. However, solar and wind energy can eventually replace all foreign oil over time. Along with a new generation of nuclear tech that’s on the way, the answer is to replace foreign oil with other energy sources.

It’s unfortunate to consider how many billions in lost tourism, damage to the coast seafood industry, and clean-up have been invested in loan guarantees to private clean or nuclear energy cos. Hopefully many in the decimated Louisiana seafood business can be given clean-up jobs for the next 3 to 5 years.

bayam on April 30, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Coal to liquid could add enough.

the_nile on April 30, 2010 at 4:43 PM

Profiles of the Missing Men of Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig
Updated: Friday, 30 Apr 2010, 10:32 AM EDT
Published : Friday, 30 Apr 2010, 10:31 AM EDT

By Joanna Sugden

(The Times of London) – Eleven men were still missing, presumed dead, after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico last week, The (London) Times reported Friday.

Dale Burkeen, 37, was a crane operator on the platform and was trained to lower crew members to boats in an emergency.

He returned to the rig from Neshoba, Pa., near Philadelphia, about a week before the explosion. He and wife, Rhonda, had two children, 14-year-old Aryn and Timothy, six.

Donald Clark, 49, of Newellton, La., was expected to leave the rig the day after the explosion for a three-week break. He was an assistant driller.

Roy Wyatt Kemp, 27, had two children — Kaylee, three, and three-month-old Maddison — with his wife, Courtney.

He loved fishing and the outdoors and attended a Baptist church in Jonesville, La., where a memorial service for him was being held Friday.

Jason Anderson was a father of two from Bay City, Texas.

Stephen Curtis was an assistant driller on the rig from Georgetown, La.

Gordon Jones, 28, of Louisiana, was expecting to become a father to a second son with his wife, Michelle.

Karl Kleppinger, 38, of Natchez, Miss., was a Desert Storm veteran who spent more than 10 years working on oil rigs. He was a floor man who made about $75,000 a year working off the Louisiana coast.

Blair Manuel, 56, a resident of Gonzales, La., was a chemical engineer on the rig.

Dewey Revette, 48, from State Line, Miss., was a father who worked for the company as an oil driller for 29 years.

Shane Roshto, 22, was from Franklin County, Miss. His family was named on law suits filed by Louisiana’s fisheries industry, accusing BP and rig operator Transocean of negligence.

Adam Weise, 24, of Yorktown, Texas, came straight from high school to work on the rig in 2005. He loved to hunt, fish and play football. He was the youngest of four children.

fourdeucer on April 30, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Theoretically speaking, this would provide the perfect cover for Obama to play both sides against the middle…because, gosh darn, he’d LOVE to drill (honest!) but it’s too dangerous and bad for the environment as this disaster proves and therefore we need that green energy bill to go through the Senate.

powerpro on April 30, 2010 at 4:34 PM

Really? Are we still at the innocent “Hey, I’m just asking questions!” stage or where we’re theoretically working out how it’d be a sweet deal for Bush to fly airplanes into skyscrapers stage?

These sorts of conspiracy theories really aren’t helpful to sane discussion.

Heralder on April 30, 2010 at 4:48 PM

The largest natural oil and gas seeps in the Western Hemisphere lie in the Santa Barbara Channel. According to the California State Lands Commission,they comprise more than 1,200 of the over 2,000 active submarine seeps along the California coast. Half of these occur within three miles of an area called Coal Oil Point, located just west of Santa Barbara near the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) campus.

It is estimated that oil seepage for a single 6-mile stretch, including Coal Oil Point, averages 10,000 gallons of oil each day (240 barrels). Every 12 months about 86,000 barrels of oil seep into the ocean—the equivalent of the quantity of oil spilled in the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara. Since 1970, the quantity of oil that naturally seeps into the Santa Barbara Channel equals ~ 31 “1969″ oil spills.

Perspective.

nico on April 30, 2010 at 4:48 PM

US reserves are fairly insignificant …. solar and wind energy can eventually replace all foreign oil over time ….
bayam on April 30, 2010 at 4:33 PM

These are laughably ridiculous, entirely incorrect statements.

Real-world credibility apparently matters little to you.

Edouard on April 30, 2010 at 4:49 PM

Tried to post this much earlier, but the site was ‘glitching’ for me.

I was watching Bobby Jindal’s news conference, and he seemed like he was doing as well as anyone could to control this situation…

Then he introduced Janet Napolitano …. Why in the he77 is SHE in charge of this situation for the Federal Government?? Why not the EPA, or some other Federal agency dealing with the lands and/or coasts?

Why is the head of an agency formed to protect the nation from terrorists in charge of cleaning up an oil spill? The only reason I can see her being involved at all is if some terrorists had blown up the rig.

Well, tinfoil hat on, maybe terrorists DID blow up the rig. (Terrorists working for the 0bama Administration.)
(I don’t actually believe it, but at the same time, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if it were true. This is incredibly convenient political timing for the destructocrats)

LegendHasIt on April 30, 2010 at 4:49 PM

Why has nobody suggested that Rahm Emmanuel sent divers in to blow up the oil rig? I mean, come on, the moonbats claimed Carl Rove blew up the levees in New Orleans. sarc/Just saying.

usarmyretired on April 30, 2010 at 4:50 PM

sighs… really?

You say the pictures. Was the rig not engulfed in flames on TOP of the rig?

I think it was a methane leak due to a crack in the piping or a flare back…. which can be very bad due to the PSI in the formation.

upinak on April 30, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Insider bro-in-law sent me pics. Sinking the rig didn’t seem like a good idea. Have to go check your chicken poop thng.

katy the mean old lady on April 30, 2010 at 4:50 PM

Well, tinfoil hat on, maybe terrorists DID blow up the rig. (Terrorists working for the 0bama Administration.)
(I don’t actually believe it, but at the same time, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if it were true. This is incredibly convenient political timing for the destructocrats)

LegendHasIt on April 30, 2010 at 4:49 PM

You wouldn’t be surprised if the U.S. Government attacked it’s own country to provide a little political cover? Really? That’s sad and I’m not sure why you’d live in a country that something like that wouldn’t surprise you.

Heralder on April 30, 2010 at 4:55 PM

Ok, on a serious note. I worked in a refinery for years, my brother still works in safety in the oil industry. I have seen and heard of things happening and it is simply defined as mechanical, human error, or act of God. These things happen because of the human element. Those poor 11 souls were vaporized in the explosion, nothing nefarious. Good grief, bad stuff happens sometimes when you deal with high pressure gases and equipment. I know of instances when a small leak went undetected and static electricity set off the explosion killing the men working in the area. It is a dangerous business, just like coal mining. Protect our brave explorers above and below.

usarmyretired on April 30, 2010 at 4:56 PM

upinak on April 30, 2010 at 3:09 PM

Just read the chicken poop article. Makes sense to me. Alert Perdue. Will pigeon poop work too?

katy the mean old lady on April 30, 2010 at 4:57 PM

bayam on April 30, 2010 at 4:33 PM

LOL, you were much funnier at Captain’s Quarters, bayrum.

Del Dolemonte on April 30, 2010 at 4:59 PM

According to some news agency Haliburton was tasked with cementing the casing of the well when gasses that should have been sealed came to the surface and ignited. Sad all the way around one disaster after another, we really need to pray God Bless America again.

fourdeucer on April 30, 2010 at 5:00 PM

That’s a false argument. US reserves are fairly insignificant and can never replace foreign oil. However, solar and wind energy can eventually replace all foreign oil over time. Along with a new generation of nuclear tech that’s on the way, the answer is to replace foreign oil with other energy sources.

bayam on April 30, 2010 at 4:33 PM

No they won’t. Solar is both vastly too expensive and too cumbersome to use for mass ‘production’. And wind requires other types of energy — nat gas, coal, etc., to store it’s reserves. Plus, both are incredibly inefficient.

Someday something will replace oil & gas, but I would bet it’s something we’ve yet to really ever hear about, if at all. It won’t be wind and/or solar.

lizzie beth on April 30, 2010 at 5:01 PM

US reserves are fairly insignificant …. solar and wind energy can eventually replace all foreign oil over time ….
bayam on April 30, 2010 at 4:33 PM

LOL, good one! That deadpanned delivery of nutty lefty talking points almost sounds like you really believe it! LOL

Midas on April 30, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Heralder on April 30, 2010 at 4:55 PM

Never let a crisis go to waste… and if you don’t have a crisis, create one. That is the plainly expressed mantra of those in charge now. That is why it wouldn’t surprise me.

You must be a ‘newbie’ here if you don’t understand my point or my love for America.

LegendHasIt on April 30, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Just read the chicken poop article. Makes sense to me. Alert Perdue. Will pigeon poop work too?

katy the mean old lady on April 30, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Who knows. But the bouy’s that are out there collecting oil… they have hair in them as hair (human and animal) absorbs the oil. FYI to those that don’t know.

upinak on April 30, 2010 at 5:07 PM

Really? Are we still at the innocent “Hey, I’m just asking questions!” stage or where we’re theoretically working out how it’d be a sweet deal for Bush to fly airplanes into skyscrapers stage?

Oh good grief. I said it was just a question in my mind Heralder. Someone brought up the fact that Obama supposedly opened up offshore drilling and I was responding to a theoretical possibility that favors Obama and the lefties.

Not every question or pondering in a person’s mind about possible wrongdoings = STEEL CAN’T MELT!!111!!

And like I said, it was just a gut feeling that the timing of this was suspicious.

These sorts of conspiracy theories really aren’t helpful to sane discussion.

Heralder on April 30, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Neither is painting everyone with a gut feeling as loons.

powerpro on April 30, 2010 at 5:08 PM

“This giant oil spill is just what the environmentalists have been dreaming of: a 210,000-gallon-a-day excuse to stop drilling”
– Stephen Colbert (via Twitter)

YYZ on April 30, 2010 at 5:09 PM

Second drilling rig overturns in Louisiana

Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:58pm EDT

HOUSTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Coast Guard said Friday it was responding to another oil drilling rig accident near Morgan City, Louisiana.

YYZ on April 30, 2010 at 5:11 PM

Second drilling rig overturns in Louisiana

Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:58pm EDT

HOUSTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Coast Guard said Friday it was responding to another oil drilling rig accident near Morgan City, Louisiana.

YYZ on April 30, 2010 at 5:11 PM

HMM that is troubling, to say the least!. Have a link or anything further?

LegendHasIt on April 30, 2010 at 5:14 PM

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=384560338434

Domestic Drilling: Why We Can Still Believe

We’ve all been shocked and saddened by the tragic events in the Gulf of Mexico. My heart breaks for coastal residents who are facing fears of the unknown impacts of the oil spill.

As an Alaskan, I can speak from the heart about the tragedy of an oil spill. For as long as I live, I will never forget the day the Exxon-Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef and millions of gallons of North Slope crude poured into the waters of our beautiful Prince William Sound.

the_nile on April 30, 2010 at 5:15 PM

YYZ on April 30, 2010 at 5:11 PM

Link?

upinak on April 30, 2010 at 5:17 PM

Bawaffles Obama

Hening on April 30, 2010 at 5:20 PM

Here is the link to the YYZ’s post.
Not much info there though, just that it happened:
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63T55Q20100430

LegendHasIt on April 30, 2010 at 5:20 PM

Second drilling rig overturns in Louisiana

Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:58pm EDT

HOUSTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Coast Guard said Friday it was responding to another oil drilling rig accident near Morgan City, Louisiana.

YYZ on April 30, 2010 at 5:11 PM

Really?

That’d be a heckuva coincidence, wouldn’t it?

Midas on April 30, 2010 at 5:21 PM

I was not surprised to hear that BP was leasing this rig when the incident happened. This is BP fault, plain and simple. No conspiracy at play.

The states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida need to sue BP out of the American market.

Texas Gal on April 30, 2010 at 5:23 PM

If I were a betting man, I’d bet SP will keep right on screaming “Drill, Baby, Drill”.

GoldenEagle4444 on April 30, 2010 at 3:26 PM

Collect your money.

We’ve all been shocked and saddened by the tragic events in the Gulf of Mexico. My heart breaks for coastal residents who are facing fears of the unknown impacts of the oil spill.

As an Alaskan, I can speak from the heart about the tragedy of an oil spill. For as long as I live, I will never forget the day the Exxon-Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef and millions of gallons of North Slope crude poured into the waters of our beautiful Prince William Sound. The spill was devastating to so many Alaskans who, like my own family, make their living on the water from our commercial fishing industry. “Heartbreaking” was the word my husband Todd, an Alaska Native and trained oil spill responder, used to describe the scene as we watched it unfold on land and water that we feel is sacred.

Alaskans understand the tragedy of an oil spill, and we’ve taken steps to do all we can to prevent another Exxon tragedy, but we are still pro-development. We still believe in responsible development, which includes drilling to extract energy sources, because we know that there is an inherent link between energy and security, energy and prosperity, and energy and freedom. Production of our own resources means security for America and opportunities for American workers. We need oil, and if we don’t drill for it here, we have to purchase it from countries that not only do not like America and can use energy purchases as a weapon against us, but also do not have the oversight that America has.

In the coming days, there will be hearings to discover the cause of the explosion and the subsequent leak. Actions will be taken to increase oversight to prevent future accidents. Government can and must play an appropriate role here. If a company was lax in its prevention practices, it must be held accountable. It is inexcusable for any oil company to not invest in preventative measures. They must be held accountable or the public will forever distrust the industry.

This was the position I took as an oil and gas regulator and as Governor of Alaska when my administration ramped up oversight of the oil industry and created a petroleum-systems-integrity office to monitor our oil and gas infrastructure for potential environmental risks. I took a lot of heat for the stand I took “against the oil industry” (which is how political adversaries labeled my actions). But we took tough action because there was proof of some improper maintenance of oil infrastructure which I believed was unacceptable. We instituted new oversight and held British Petroleum (BP) financially accountable for poor maintenance practices. We also filed a Friend-of-the-Court brief against Exxon’s interests for its decades-old responsibility to compensate Alaskans affected by the Valdez spill, and I took other actions “against” the industry which ultimately helped hold it accountable.

All responsible energy development must be accompanied by strict oversight, but even with the strictest oversight in the world, accidents still happen. No human endeavor is ever without risk – whether it’s sending a man to the moon or extracting the necessary resources to fuel our civilization. I repeat the slogan “drill here, drill now” not out of naiveté or disregard for the tragic consequences of oil spills – my family and my state and I know firsthand those consequences. How could I still believe in drilling America’s domestic supply of energy after having seen the devastation of the Exxon-Valdez spill? I continue to believe in it because increased domestic oil production will make us a more secure, prosperous, and peaceful nation.

Our hearts go out to all Americans along the coast affected by this recent tragedy, especially those who lost family members in the rig explosion, and our prayers go up for a successful recovery. May spill responders be safe.

- Sarah Palin

CTSherman on April 30, 2010 at 5:24 PM

It was a mobile inland drilling unit which is more or less a boat, that is not secured to the sea floor.

Here is the story that may get bigger.

upinak on April 30, 2010 at 5:25 PM

I think that if gas hits more than 3.50 a gallon, the consumer will forget about this spill and be ready to see oil development just about anywhere. People hate high gas prices.

Terrye on April 30, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Once can be happenstance. Twice is sure a heckuva coincidence. Three times … it will be time to seriously consider sinister intent.

LegendHasIt on April 30, 2010 at 5:29 PM

And here is the other half of the story of the 2nd Rig “going down”.

It is not a conspiracy people.

upinak on April 30, 2010 at 5:30 PM

Here is a bit more on the second one:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100430/ap_on_re_us/us_oil_rig_overturns_2

LegendHasIt on April 30, 2010 at 5:32 PM

The LA Governor will now have the opportunity to show that he has some political skills.

faraway on April 30, 2010 at 3:17 PM

As will AL and MS (both GOP Governors)

I don’t think that the Feds acted properly at all, now they are sending the Navy to help cap the well and the Air Force to spray and “vaccum”. Where were they a week ago?? While BP is in charge of clean up and what not… if the Fed Gov’t could assist with better technology/resources why didn’t they??? I live in Mobile, and this could be devastating for our local economy.

kringeesmom on April 30, 2010 at 5:32 PM

Well, enough of the conspiracy theorizing, blame gaming, and what-not. We need a way ahead on this mess. So I’ll step up and submit the following.

Sink a low yield nuke to the wellhead, slightly offset a bit, and squish that puppy shut. At 5K feet under, something in the 100KT range might not even break the surface. So no pesky downwind fallout. Sure, the seabed around the site will be somewhat hot for a few years, but it’s not exactly a high traffic kindergarten picnic spot. Plus, the possibility of 3-4 pound shrimps has got to have some appeal to it.

Of course, the administration won’t even consider this option, despite all Skippy’s talk about wanting to get rid of American nukes – hey, here ya go! One down! And the rest can be ‘standby’ for future emergencies like this requiring a really, really big BOOM.

Naturally, the enviro-nuts will squall about the radiation hazard to some obscure zooplankton in the area, and kvetch about not having ample enough bird-sopping tear jerk camera opportunites. Such is life.

Hey. Desperate times call for desperate measures, no?

Wind Rider on April 30, 2010 at 5:33 PM

I repeat the slogan “drill here, drill now” not out of naiveté or disregard for the tragic consequences of oil spills – my family and my state and I know firsthand those consequences.

CTSherman on April 30, 2010 at 5:24 PM

the_nile on April 30, 2010 at 5:34 PM

I think that if gas hits more than 3.50 a gallon, the consumer will forget about this spill and be ready to see oil development just about anywhere. People hate high gas prices.

Terrye on April 30, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Perhaps. Was that attitude prevalent not so long ago, when gas was going up and every business from A to Z was in the news b/c of having to make major readjustments?

Dark-Star on April 30, 2010 at 5:37 PM

Think of the otters

Huh? When did Louisiana get otters? Were they always there in the Gulf & I just didn’t know it or is Ace talking about nutria?

leilani on April 30, 2010 at 5:51 PM

Naturally, the enviro-nuts will squall about the radiation hazard to some obscure zooplankton in the area, and kvetch about not having ample enough bird-sopping tear jerk camera opportunites. Such is life.

Hey. Desperate times call for desperate measures, no?

Wind Rider on April 30, 2010 at 5:33 PM

Hey, instead of a nuke why not use a robot to jam it shut with enviro-nuts? There’s plenty of ‘em and we could tell them they’re being sacrificed for Gaia.

darwin on April 30, 2010 at 5:52 PM

Putting on my tinfoil hat. . .

I’m with those who suspect sabotage. Or at least I’m willing to entertain the idea at this stage. The timing is suspect, both coming on the heels of Obama’s bone to the pro-energy crowd to allow drilling offshore in the Atlantic (which has now been conveniently reversed) and on the eve of Gaia Day. The usual eco-terror suspects have been surprisingly circumspect, which is out of character for them. I will not be surprised if sabotage is ultimately the cause, although I’m sure we’ll never know if it is b/c this oh-so-transparent administration will make sure we’ll never know it. I would not go so far as to say this magnitude of damage is what was hoped for, but I’m not sure Bin Laden thought the WTC was actually going to collapse to the ground either.

Exit question: How long until the Most Ethical Congress Evah drags BP in for a show trial?

NoLeftTurn on April 30, 2010 at 5:57 PM

However, solar and wind energy can eventually replace all foreign oil over time.

bayam on April 30, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Awesome, energy that’s cheap and plentiful and clean; with no tradeoffs or excessive costs or required subsidies… it’ll be brilliant.

I mean… not on this planet. We don’t have enough space, solar panels aren’t efficient enough to be useful, the environmentalists won’t let them cover desert for crying out loud due to possible ecological harm… so that clearly ain’t happening. Not good enough, not enough space, and people complaining about putting them anywhere… not gonna happen.

Oh, and they’re horrifically expensive, we don’t have storage to cover downtimes so they can’t be used exclusively, and the cost/output would bankrupt the nation.

But on planet HappyDream this will be super… and the mountains are covered in ice cream and the rivers run bank-full of chocolate there too… so that’s nice.

Of course that doesn’t help us here on Earth at all; but it’s a pretty daydream before we have to get back to reality and find real sources that can actually provide enough energy to be useful.

Nuclear isn’t a bad option; but the start-up time means we’d have to start building dozens of plants now to cut back on oil maybe sometime this decade… have we started that yet?

gekkobear on April 30, 2010 at 6:12 PM

it seems reasonable enough to reassess the potential economic disruptions of offshore drilling accidents, and to do so by first halting expansion of the practice.

ernesto on April 30, 2010 at 3:01 PM

As Ed noted:

this has been the first major spill in decades, even in the Gulf, where drilling has continued while government declared the outer continental shelf off limits.

Del Dolemonte on April 30, 2010 at 3:10 PM

I’d also note that all of the media-fueled hysteria that this will eclipse the Valdez spill needs to be placed in context. Not to minimize the seriousness of any spill, but the Valdez was really pretty small compared with some others that have happened over the last 40 or 50 years. Not least of which being Sadaam Hussein unleashing 500 million gallons and creating a four-inch thick slick on the Gulf.

Always a spill that takes place in our own backyard seems more devastating. And it will be devastating to the Gulf Coast and the fishing and tourism industries, and the marine life there. But all we can do is pray that they’re able to seal it off as quickly as possible and that the damage can be minimized and/or repaired. The environment will recover eventually. The effects on the economies of this area are poised to be much more devastating.

NoLeftTurn on April 30, 2010 at 6:17 PM

“Expected”. Heck, as far as what we know, conspiracy theories aside, it looks almost as much as they created just for this purpose. Here’s what you “expect”. “Expect” $4.00/gal gas prices come this summer. This Administration is loving every minute of this.

Sultry Beauty on April 30, 2010 at 6:18 PM

Never let a crisis go to waste… and if you don’t have a crisis, create one. That is the plainly expressed mantra of those in charge now. That is why it wouldn’t surprise me.

You must be a ‘newbie’ here if you don’t understand my point or my love for America.

LegendHasIt on April 30, 2010 at 5:05 PM

You’re quoting Rahm Emanuel when he stated “Never let a good crisis go to waste” as he was speaking of the economic downturn and how to play it to the best political effect for the Democrats.

I’m not sure if you tacked on the end part about creating one or someone actually said that, but using this as justification to ‘not be surprised’ at the federal government committing terrorist attacks against it’s citizens doesn’t quite fly.

I’m a newbie to commenting here although I’ve been reading the site since shortly after it launched. I’m only familiar with a few of the commenters, so no, how much you love America wasn’t really factored into my response.

Neither is painting everyone with a gut feeling as loons.

powerpro on April 30, 2010 at 5:08 PM

I apologize if that’s is that’s what I’m doing, it wasn’t my intention. It seems very clear however, that some are pretty willing to entertain these ideas now … but they weren’t when the left was doing this over 9/11 and “questioning the timing” on pretty much everything. We still joke about that stuff, in fact, those idiots lost alot of credibility with that behavior so I sure hate to see “my side” doing this now that they aren’t too fond of our President.

I’m sorry if I seem overly judgmental, but it’s really a lot easier to dismiss arguments when they contain conspiracy-esque “gut feelings” so it’s not exactly helping conservatives if we resort to black helicopter scenarios to explain bad policy.

Heralder on April 30, 2010 at 6:20 PM

Obama has has 5 day to put the Government behind preventing Oil from damaging the coasts of Ala, La. Tx et al…..what have they done …. NOTHING…. This Administration hasn’t lifted a finger to DEFEND the coast

roflmao

donabernathy on April 30, 2010 at 6:35 PM

Let me clarify. I’m not saying that someone caused the incident. Just that they sure did take their time in responding to it. For people who are extremely antagonistic to oil companies, to let them just go ahead and take care of it themselves and/or be over micro-management oriented seems a bit odd, doesn’t it? I mean, they are so willing to micro-manage everything we do, why would they be so lackadaisical about something that would have such a severe affect on the environment and the like? The bigger the mess this becomes, the better they can use it as an excuse to go against the will of the people and justify high gas prices that they love to have anyway.

Sultry Beauty on April 30, 2010 at 6:38 PM

9 days after the explosion this administration decides to actually send someone to assess the situation. Where was everyone 9 days ago? Campaigning as usual. This is Mr. President’s Katrina. And what’s on their immediate agenda? The White House Correspondents Dinner, where they will bask in the glory that is them.

scalleywag on April 30, 2010 at 6:40 PM

Where is Al Gores outrage? He’s too busy furnishing his new digs.

scalleywag on April 30, 2010 at 6:41 PM

Huh? When did Louisiana get otters? Were they always there in the Gulf & I just didn’t know it or is Ace talking about nutria?

leilani on April 30, 2010 at 5:51 PM

Allah and Ace were talking about the gulf of Alaska… concerning the sea otters. Notice the baby and mom holding hands.

upinak on April 30, 2010 at 6:47 PM

However, solar and wind energy can eventually replace all foreign oil over time.

bayam on April 30, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Utter nonsense. The vast majority of oil is used for transportation. Solar and wind will not replace that.

chemman on April 30, 2010 at 6:47 PM

I apologize if that’s is that’s what I’m doing, it wasn’t my intention. It seems very clear however, that some are pretty willing to entertain these ideas now … but they weren’t when the left was doing this over 9/11 and “questioning the timing” on pretty much everything. We still joke about that stuff, in fact, those idiots lost alot of credibility with that behavior so I sure hate to see “my side” doing this now that they aren’t too fond of our President.

I’m sorry if I seem overly judgmental, but it’s really a lot easier to dismiss arguments when they contain conspiracy-esque “gut feelings” so it’s not exactly helping conservatives if we resort to black helicopter scenarios to explain bad policy.

Heralder on April 30, 2010 at 6:20 PM

That’s cool. And don’t worry… I’m not ready to launch ObamaOilSpillTruthers.com or anything.

I just have a queasy sense about the folks involved in this administration and I think it’s prudent to pay attention to what they do at all times.

I mean…they sent a SWAT team and a gaggle of lawyers there. That just seems odd to me. Perhaps there’s a really reasonable explanation but in my mind, those aren’t the folks I’d be sending to an oil spill.

“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” ~Plato

powerpro on April 30, 2010 at 6:49 PM

Where is FEMA? Nowhere to be found, but Nappy is there spouting the usual BP caused the disaster, and you cannot hang this around PBO’s neck spiel. This is not the same as Katrina, you hear me? Lordy, he even sent the ambulance chasers from doj to N.O. What a convenient crisis for Rhambo.

Kissmygrits on April 30, 2010 at 6:54 PM

After reading the comments I can tell why there haven’t been that many posts on this subject.

Nonfactor on April 30, 2010 at 7:13 PM

After reading the comments I can tell why there haven’t been that many posts on this subject.

Nonfactor on April 30, 2010 at 7:13 PM

If you wouldn’t be such a brainless leftie, you’d know by now that HA was down last night, and on sporadic threads, this one included, most morning.

But if you like your oatmeal, er shiite, go right ahead.

Schadenfreude on April 30, 2010 at 7:19 PM

You must be a ‘newbie’ here if you don’t understand my point or my love for America.

LegendHasIt on April 30, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Indeed; to question your love for this land is similar to questioning Carl Sagan if the world is round.

Schadenfreude on April 30, 2010 at 7:22 PM

Exit question: How long until the Most Ethical Congress Evah drags BP in for a show trial?

NoLeftTurn on April 30, 2010 at 5:57 PM

Actually it may have been just announced. Brett (FOX) indicated it has been set for first hearings on May 15th.

Yoop on April 30, 2010 at 7:23 PM

I can see oil drilling rigs from my house.

docflash on April 30, 2010 at 8:25 PM

Putting on my tinfoil hat. . .

I’m with those who suspect sabotage. Or at least I’m willing to entertain the idea at this stage. The timing is suspect, both coming on the heels of Obama’s bone to the pro-energy crowd to allow drilling offshore in the Atlantic (which has now been conveniently reversed) and on the eve of Gaia Day. The usual eco-terror suspects have been surprisingly circumspect, which is out of character for them. I will not be surprised if sabotage is ultimately the cause, although I’m sure we’ll never know if it is b/c this oh-so-transparent administration will make sure we’ll never know it. I would not go so far as to say this magnitude of damage is what was hoped for, but I’m not sure Bin Laden thought the WTC was actually going to collapse to the ground either.

Exit question: How long until the Most Ethical Congress Evah drags BP in for a show trial?

NoLeftTurn on April 30, 2010 at 5:57 PM

.
Funny thing,
Obama said today, “BP is liable for all costs, fines,
and penalties related to the clean-up of the oil spill.”
On September 30, 2009, Obama BFF George Soros bought 7600 shares of BP.
On December 31, 2009, he sold it all.
Did Georgie realize it was a ‘bad’ investment?
Or did he know ‘something’ was coming?
Or is this just one of many co-inky-dinks over this past 18 months?
http://www.gurufocus.com/StockBuy.php?symbol=BP&GuruName=George+Soros

Hmmmm.

mrt721 on April 30, 2010 at 8:55 PM

Or did he know ’something’ was coming?
Or is this just one of many co-inky-dinks over this past 18 months?

Hmmmm.

mrt721 on April 30, 2010 at 8:55 PM

Oh. My. God.

Get this:

Your username is mrt721
721 or shall we say 7/21 as in July 21st, is the 202nd day of the year.
202? Where do I know that number? Oh yeah, it’s only the area code of … WASHINGTON D.C.

So what does the ‘mrt’ part stand for you may ask?
Well, funny thing, ‘m’ is the 13th letter of the alphabet, ‘r’ is the 8th letter, and ‘t’ is the 20th letter.

Otherwise known as the Undercover, Blue Standard model 13820 .38 special revolver.

You know who owned a .38 caliber revolver? Only some guy named Lee Harvey Oswald.

Was Oswald was on the payroll of the U.S. government? Yes, he was. How do I know you ask? Because mrt721 just told me.

Heralder on April 30, 2010 at 10:01 PM

If gas hits $5.00 by next year, no democrat should ever experience comfort outside a bunker.

Inanemergencydial on April 30, 2010 at 11:23 PM

Consider this a tax on the poor when gas prices go up because we reduce exploration for oil because of this.

Do Democrats care at all?

No.

scotash on May 2, 2010 at 1:40 AM

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