Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Oil Spill Threatens Louisiana Coast - Biggest in U.S. History?

The White House, with its knee-jerk, anti-U.S. business stance, has been quick to promise a thorough investigation of the rig explosion that claimed the lives of eleven and now threatens a section of pristine U.S. coast with spilled crude. This should come as no surprise. The White House has come down hard on the mining industry, on Wall Street, on the auto-industry, on the real estate industry, on health insurance and other insurance companies, and on business in general. The only interests the White House won't come down hard on are government entities, non-profits, unions and lawyers.

This spill is more proof that our government is writing checks and setting policy beyond its capability and understanding. In this case, as has been true for awhile, drilling and pumping technology far exceeds recovery and remediation technology. It's like building a ten story building in your town without adding an aerial ladder truck to your fire department.

I suspect that when all is said and done, there will be some questions asked of the U.S. Coast Guard. Did the Coast Guard respond in a timely and decisive manner or did they simply wait for industry professionals do begin a capping operation that has never before been attempted at this depth. It seems to me a lot of time went by before significant remedial action was authorized. Even now, you have to wonder if enough is being done. There is talk of setting sections of the spill on fire. Well, what are they waiting for? Set it ablaze already. Deploy chemical dispersants. Mobilize more oil recovery vessels. Reportedly there are a thousand or more people working to contain and control the spill, and supposedly BP-Plc, the company leasing the well, is spending $6 million a day to try and correct the situation.

As is the case with any spill, large or small, the ones tasked with correcting the problem can't make a movie without permission or authorization from the Coast Guard. We heard yesterday they were thinking about a controlled burn. How much time has passed since, and why aren't we starting to burn?

If you ask me, there's some major pussyfooting going on at the Coast Guard.


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