May 4, 2010

Gulf oil spill will be Obama’s Katrina

Gleaned from reports at the links below:

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 photo above shows an oil burn being conducted in a Hydro-Fire Boom system. The inflatable, fire-resistant, water-cooled boom was developed to contain surface oil and burn it offshore, helping prevent destruction of critical environmentally sensitive shoreline habitats.

Problem is, there was not a single fire boon in the gulf!

An Associated Press report at the second link below says:

To hear Obama administration officials tell it, they've been fully engaged on the Gulf Coast oil spill since Day One, bringing every resource to bear and able to ensure without question that taxpayers will be protected.

Not quite.

Take President Barack Obama's repeated claims that BP will be responsible for all the costs associated with the devastating spill that began after an oil rig operated by the company exploded April 20, killing 11 workers and later sinking.

In reality, the federal Oil Pollution Act, enacted in 1990 at the time of the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, sets BP’s total liability at $75 million, a pittance compared to potential losses.

The administration's evolving rhetoric reflects not only the increasing seriousness of the spill itself, but its determination to be seen as responsive from the get-go and to squelch comparisons to the Bush administration's slow-footed response to Hurricane Katrina.

And maybe, with the help of a fawning media, Obama can somehow avoid the comparison to Katrina in the eyes of many Americans.

It will be a monumental task, however, for the media to avoid a Katrina comparison especially after claims by the administration that they “responded at 100 percent starting Day One to an incident whose magnitude was not yet apparent, or when black-and-white assertions about taxpayer protections turn out to be tinged with gray.”

Link here and here.