This from the administration that bashed its predecessor's handling of Hurricane Katrina on its very first day in office. How could this catastrophic failure have occurred? The answer can be found in the #1 rule of politics: follow the money.
If U.S. officials had followed up on a 1994 response plan for a major Gulf oil spill, it is possible that the spill could have been kept under control and far from land.
The problem: The federal government did not have a single fire boom on hand.
The "In-Situ Burn" plan produced by federal agencies in 1994 calls for responding to a major oil spill in the Gulf with the immediate use of fire booms.
But in order to conduct a successful test burn eight days after the Deepwater Horizon well began releasing massive amounts of oil into the Gulf, officials had to purchase one from a company in Illinois.
When federal officials called, Elastec/American Marine, shipped the only boom it had in stock, Jeff Bohleber, chief financial officer for Elastec, said today.
At federal officials' behest, the company began calling customers in other countries and asking if the U.S. government could borrow their fire booms for a few days, he said.
A single fire boom being towed by two boats can burn up to 1,800 barrels of oil an hour, Bohleber said. That translates to 75,000 gallons an hour, raising the possibility that the spill could have been contained at the accident scene 100 miles from shore.
"They said this was the tool of last resort. No, this is absolutely the asset of first use. Get in there and start burning oil before the spill gets out of hand," Bohleber said. "If they had six or seven of these systems in place when this happened and got out there and started burning, it would have significantly lessened the amount of oil that got loose."
Ah-hah! While this doesn't excuse the failure, it certainly goes a long way toward explaining it. Hot Air offers this commentary, which makes a lot of sense to me:
During the 2008 election cycle, individuals and political action committees associated with BP — a Center for Responsive Politics' "heavy hitter" — contributed half a million dollars to federal candidates. About 40 percent of these donations went to Democrats. The top recipient of BP-related donations during the 2008 cycle was President Barack Obama himself, who collected $71,000.
Nor does honesty or truth, but that's something we're seeing on a daily basis now, especially as the lies to various audiences start stacking up.
It's funny, because the left still brings up President Bush's "slow" response to Hurricane Katrina. Here we have another disaster, in the same area, and an even slower response. The only difference is that now, the liberal media is dutifully looking the other way.
On top of that, you won't ever hear about Obama being in the pocket of "Big Oil". That was always hurled at President Bush, but never at Obama. Yet here is Obama, taking the largest amount of donations from BP related PACs and individuals. I assume that it's, of course, just coincidence that he dragged his feet in responding to this catastrophe. Now that he has, though, BP should prepare themselves. They may have donated heavily to Democrats and to Obama, but that won't keep them from being thrown under the Obama bus. Loyalty has no home in this White House.
There's my two cents.