Last week, the final cap finally got installed and secured on the well that spewed millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and the White House rushed to note the accomplishment — or at least acted faster than it did in acknowledging the disaster in the first place. Barack Obama issued a two-paragraph statement:
Today, we achieved an important milestone in our response to the BP oil spill – the final termination of the damaged well that sat deep under the Gulf of Mexico. I commend Admiral Thad Allen, Secretaries Salazar, Chu, Napolitano, Administrators Jackson and Lubchenco, Carol Browner, the federal science and engineering teams, and the thousands of men and women who worked around the clock to respond to this crisis and ultimately complete this challenging but critical step to ensure that the well has stopped leaking forever.
However, while we have seen a diminished need for our massive response that encompassed more than 40,000 people, 7,000 vessels and the coordination of dozens of federal, state and local agencies and other partners, we also remain committed to doing everything possible to make sure the Gulf Coast recovers fully from this disaster. This road will not be easy, but we will continue to work closely with the people of the Gulf to rebuild their livelihoods and restore the environment that supports them. My administration will see our communities, our businesses and our fragile ecosystems through this difficult time.
However, Andrew Malcolm noticed that Obama didn’t thank a certain group of people — the people that actually capped the well:
But in a two-paragraph special White House statement issued Sunday morning before some more golf, the president could find no words to praise or even acknowledge by name the BP drillers and relief crews who did the actual capping and sealing work. …
Obama also found words to cite the 7,000 vessels, “thousands” of people and “dozens of federal, state and local agencies” for their massive response. The president did mention some unidentified “other partners,” which could possibly include the BP workers who actually did the work and now face unemployment due to the administration’s offshore drilling moratorium.
BP was the company with the ultimate responsibility for the explosion and spill, but not the people who actually performed the arduous and dangerous work of capping the wellhead after the explosion and spill. I’d say that those workers deserved more of the credit than Stephen Chu. They certainly deserved a mention.
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