Green Room

“All the legality of a car-jacking”

posted at 9:26 am on June 17, 2010 by

Obama has complained more than once that his power is not unlimited. But he doesn’t let that stop him. The American Spectator brings us another must-read on the president’s disregard for those pesky legal limits to his executive power. He swats them away like gnats:

George Neumayr: The Oilers vs. the Stealers

Obama now moves to mop up the Gulf spill with a shredded Constitution. His demand that BP essentially hand over a blank check to the U.S. government has all the legality of a car-jacking.The Democrats don’t even bother to conceal the crassness of this demand, saying casually that they will manufacture the legal authority for the shakedown sometime in the future. Just seize the money, their attitude goes, and we’ll write the “legislation” to justify the theft later.

Unfortunately, no one will be able to hold the Obama administration accountable for the destruction it’s causing:

BP obviously invited all of this through its gross incompetence, but what if the same “lost wages” standard applied to the Obama administration? It, too, is busy destroying the “way of life” for workers in multiple industries, but in its case that’s not even an accident; it is a deliberate plan.Which federal government office should coal and oil rig workers show up at to retrieve their lost wages once Obama’s energy laws crippling those industries pass? Obama offers these workers the consolation of a “clean energy” job in the future. That’s very thoughtful of him. These workers can look forward to the prospect of a job, or at the very least a generous interview opportunity for a job, at wind farms several states away from their homes maybe a decade from now.

Read whole thing.

Obama’s six-month drilling ban, which will destroy countless livelihoods in the Gulf region, is held up by the administration as a decision based on science. Far from it, says the WSJ, and the scientists who supposedly signed off on it:

As these columns reported last week, the opposite is true. In a scathing document, eight of the “experts” the Administration listed in its report said their names had been “used” to “justify” a “political decision.” The draft they reviewed had not included a six-month drilling moratorium. The Administration added that provision only after it had secured sign-off. In their document, the eight forcefully rejected a moratorium, which they argued could prove more economically devastating than the oil spill itself and “counterproductive” to “safety.” [. . .]

Ken Arnold, an engineer and consultant, said the changes [to the document] went beyond just the drilling moratorium. The Interior draft he looked at included timelines for each safety recommendation. The “bulk” of those recommendations, he explained, were all ones that could be done within 30 days. And most of the longer-term provisions would result in only “marginal increases in safety.”

Yet when the final report came out, the timelines he saw had been removed, no doubt because they argued against the necessity of a six-month moratorium. Mr. Arnold adds that the Administration’s decision to allow industry to continue drilling “gas injection wells”—which, he says, are no more risky than production wells—only shows the moratorium makes “no sense.”

“This was a political call; this was not a technical call,” says Mr. Arnold. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has since testified that the call was his. But Robert Bea, from the University of California at Berkeley, who also reviewed the report, told us Interior had sent him a letter that “stated clearly that [the moratorium] had been inserted at the request of the White House.” Mr. Bea pointed out that the Department of Interior is more than equipped to target and shut down specific Gulf operations that might offer safety concerns. There was no call for a moratorium “for industry as a whole.” [emphasis added]

Read the rest. This isn’t about safety. The experts contend that it’s actually safer to keep oil rigs operational rather than discontinuing use and later restarting them. “[Mr. Arnold] notes BP was in the process of abandoning its well when the blowout happened.”

Doesn’t anyone in the mainstream media care about this lie?

Obama’s bloodless political decision to suspend drilling will have many, many victims. They’ve pleaded with the president, to no avail. It’s a terrible decision in itself. What’s worse is that it is based on a deliberate deception: the report was altered by the administration to support the desired result.

It’s tedious to keep invoking “if this had been Bush,” but if the wrong party had perpetrated this kind of deception the media would have elevated it to an impeachable offense. And frankly, the repercussions of this are far more serious than dirty tricks of the Nixonian or Clintonian varieties, or the cover-ups of either.

Tens of thousands of people are getting the rug pulled out from under their lives. It’s unconscionable, and more reprehensible because the president’s motives are purely political.

The corruption of the administration, and the effective collusion by the liberal media, are breathtaking to behold.

In case you missed it, see Ben Stein’s Our Caudillo President.

Exit question: He’s got two years left. How far will he go?

ETA: See William Jacobson for the legal case against Obama’s overreaching and why BP doesn’t mind.

Cross-posted at P&P.

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Exit question: He’s got two years left. How far will he go?

To infinity and well beyond.

As these columns reported last week, the opposite is true. In a scathing document, eight of the “experts” the Administration listed in its report said their names had been “used” to “justify” a “political decision.” The draft they reviewed had not included a six-month drilling moratorium. The Administration added that provision only after it had secured sign-off. In their document, the eight forcefully rejected a moratorium, which they argued could prove more economically devastating than the oil spill itself and “counterproductive” to “safety.” [. . .]

Ken Arnold, an engineer and consultant, said the changes [to the document] went beyond just the drilling moratorium. The Interior draft he looked at included timelines for each safety recommendation. The “bulk” of those recommendations, he explained, were all ones that could be done within 30 days. And most of the longer-term provisions would result in only “marginal increases in safety.”

Yet when the final report came out, the timelines he saw had been removed, no doubt because they argued against the necessity of a six-month moratorium. Mr. Arnold adds that the Administration’s decision to allow industry to continue drilling “gas injection wells”—which, he says, are no more risky than production wells—only shows the moratorium makes “no sense.”

“This was a political call; this was not a technical call,” says Mr. Arnold. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has since testified that the call was his. But Robert Bea, from the University of California at Berkeley, who also reviewed the report, told us Interior had sent him a letter that “stated clearly that [the moratorium] had been inserted at the request of the White House.” Mr. Bea pointed out that the Department of Interior is more than equipped to target and shut down specific Gulf operations that might offer safety concerns. There was no call for a moratorium “for industry as a whole.” [emphasis added]

Read the rest. This isn’t about safety. The experts contend that it’s actually safer to keep oil rigs operational rather than discontinuing use and later restarting them. “[Mr. Arnold] notes BP was in the process of abandoning its well when the blowout happened.

I was quite unaware of both of these points. The latter is very interesting, since I have read of BP’s foreknowledge of serious safety issues at Deepwater on several different publications and websites.

KinleyArdal on June 17, 2010 at 10:37 AM

Exit answer: O will go as far as he can, as fast as he can. Word is out that he plans on passing crap & tax after the Nov elections with his lame ducks. Now that he’s got BP’s $20B to dole out for the elections, we may all be surprised by the results then.

Kissmygrits on June 17, 2010 at 11:50 AM