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Confederate

July 14, 2010

Laugh or Cry: Administration Won't Let BP Test New Spill Cap

Uh, what else should they have been talking about for the past three months?

P's work on capping the Gulf of Mexico gusher was frozen Wednesday after the federal government raised concerns the operation could put damaging pressure on the busted well that could make the leak worse.

An administration official, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the talks with BP, said the government was acting out of "abundance of caution" and didn't want potentially dangerous pressure tests on a tighter containment cap that has been placed over the well to go ahead until BP answers questions about possible risks.

I'm sorry... did this sneak up on them? Did our brilliant Energy Secretary not know that BP was going to attempt to cap the well? Did they not think about the possible effects that might happen, until this morning?

Why are they just getting around to asking questions now?!?!?

Unless this article is being entirely misreported, the Obama Administration didn't do any research at all to determine whether or not capping the well at the surface would be the best option.

If it wasn't the best option to cap the spill, then why has the Administration had BP wasting their time and money? Merely to give the appearance that "something" was being done as President Putt Putt dealt with more pressing issues the putting green?

As someone suggested earlier today, the Deepwater Horizon isn't Obama's Hurricane Katrina. Obama is Katrina... presidential disaster of epic proportions.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at July 14, 2010 12:42 PM
Comments

Hmmm. Surely the Obama Administration could not have goals other than capping the well as quickly as possible and cleaning up the damage as quickly as possible. Could it?

Posted by: mikemcdaniel at July 14, 2010 01:24 PM

It's my considered opinion, after 'studyin' on this, that the ultimate aim of the present Administration is to nationalize the U. S. oil industry [and we all know how badly that has worked out for the countries which have done it.] The longer they can draw out this mishandled solution to the oil spill, the more they expect to make the American people hate underwater oil drilling.

Marianne Matthews

Posted by: Marianne Matthews at July 14, 2010 01:56 PM

Keep in mind that our Energy Secretary has a Nobel Prize. We must not forget that. Ever. Never ever.

Posted by: Chris Jones at July 14, 2010 05:42 PM

"Surely the Obama Administration could not have goals other than capping the well as quickly as possible and cleaning up the damage as quickly as possible. Could it?"

Never! Barack Obama is the is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life....

Posted by: Landru at July 14, 2010 06:26 PM

.30-06

Posted by: Marc at July 14, 2010 07:00 PM

"Keep in mind that our Energy Secretary has a Nobel Prize. We must not forget that. Ever. Never ever. "

And so does the terrorist in chief...
So this must be the most expert cabinet in history, 2 Nobel prizes in such a small group!
The international community loves them, so they must be good!

Posted by: J.T. Wenting at July 15, 2010 02:19 AM

You gotta appreciate the arrogance of a bunch who admit that they don't have the expertise/knowledge/equipment to do the job, then have the temerity to "question" the actions of those who do.
What kind of "questions" are our overlords going to ask? If they have the expertise and knowledge to frame reasonable questions, and to understand the answers, that kind of assumes they are better at it, and are acting in kind of an oversight capacity.
If that's the case, then why didn't they do it in the first place?
Makes me a little crazy. I'm going to lie down now.

Posted by: MichigammeDave at July 15, 2010 06:10 AM

"Never let a crisis go to waste."

Obama and Co. have not finished with the spill yet. They think there's more mileage to be gained.

Posted by: Steve Skubinna at July 15, 2010 07:02 AM

How dare the administration take extreme caution when it comes to a procedure which in a worst case scenario could:

"...trigger a blowout deep beneath the sea floor that would be difficult, and perhaps impossible, to control..."


And how dare they assemble experts to question BP! It's not like BP has a history of rushing work on the well in a way that could lead to the loss of life and or a huge spill. Oh wait....


As for the Katrina garbage just stop, no one but your true believers are buying it. There is no FEMA that handles oil spills, there was no governmental agency in place to handle the physical and legal issues resulting from this disaster. If you guys want to propose that one gets funded then by all means tell your representatives to write such a bill.

Last and least, .30-06 Marc? What are you trying to say? It's almost as if you're too immature to resist the implication of typing a (meaningless) threat, while being too much of a coward to cpme out and say it outright. CY, are you OK with those sorts of posts on your blog?

Posted by: Jim at July 15, 2010 01:26 PM

How dare the administration take extreme caution when it comes to a procedure which in a worst case scenario could:

"...trigger a blowout deep beneath the sea floor that would be difficult, and perhaps impossible, to control..."


And how dare they assemble experts to question BP! It's not like BP has a history of rushing work on the well in a way that could lead to the loss of life and or a huge spill. Oh wait...


Jim, how long ago did the well blowout?

How long has BP been trying to cap the well?

Why did the Obama administration decide now, months after the accident, that they need to take a closer look at the procedure?


________________________________

There is no FEMA that handles oil spills, there was no governmental agency in place to handle the physical and legal issues resulting from this disaster.

Yes, but there is a government in place to tell over 20 countries with decades of spill technology that were offering their expertise and equipment, "no thanks".

And there was a government in place that gave the Coast Guard the OK to do safety inspections on oil recovery barges that effectively took them off line for an inconceivable period of time.

And there was a government to play golf, LOTS of golf....
_______________

Congrats Jim, I didn't think there would be any administration sycophants crazy enough to try to justify the pathetic response of Obama.

Posted by: TomB at July 15, 2010 03:44 PM

Hi TomB,

Are you honestly trying to tell me the procedure BP applied today (instead of yesterday) had been planned and discussed for months? I was under the impression that this was Plan C or D. I also know from reading the press conference yesterday that there were tests being performed on the components and underlying geology pretty much 24/7 this week. The results of those tests obviously effected the risk/reward aspect of the current cap.

As for those offers from other countries:

Q&A: Did U.S. reject foreign help on gulf oil spill cleanup?

What role does a maritime law play in criticisms that the Obama administration initially refused offers from the Netherlands?

June 25, 2010|By Kathleen Hennessey, Tribune Washington bureau
FIND MORE STORIES ABOUT:

* BP

Reporting from Washington A handful of critics, led by Republicans in Congress and conservative commentators, has recently blasted the administration as slow to accept equipment and other assistance from foreign countries offering to help with the gulf oil spill cleanup.

They've focused their critique on an offer from the Netherlands of oil-skimming booms. Some contend that the administration initially refused that offer and others out of a resistance to waive the Jones Act of 1920 a law that bars foreign vessels from carrying cargo between points in the U.S. as President George W. Bush did briefly after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The White House, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen and the State Department have pushed back against the criticism, saying the Jones Act has not impeded the cleanup and foreign assistance has been accepted when needed.

Did the Dutch offer assistance immediately after the Deepwater Horizon exploded?

The State Department says the Dutch government and private businesses offered various types of assistance on April 30, 10 days after the explosion. It included proposals to sell equipment as well as offers of technical advice.

Romania, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Britain made similar offers that same day, according to a summary provided by the State Department. The Netherlands' offer consisted of "state-of-the-art skimming arms made by the Dutch company Koseq," said a statement issued by the Dutch Embassy. The Netherlands also offered to help Louisiana build sand berms intended to keep the oil from washing ashore.

Did the U.S. reject the offers?

On May 5, the State Department issued a statement acknowledging that it had received several offers from countries. "While there is no need right now that the U.S. cannot meet, the U.S. Coast Guard is assessing these offers of assistance to see if there will be something which we will need in the near future," the statement said.

The offer of skimmers was accepted on May 23, when BP purchased three Koseq sweeping arms.

As of June 21, the other Dutch offers were considered "under consideration," and the response team had also accepted aid from Mexico, Canada and Norway.

Did the Jones Act prevent the U.S. from immediately accepting the assistance?

The administration and Allen said the Jones Act had not prevented the response team from accepting the offers. In a June 11 news briefing, Allen, the national incident commander, said, "We are more than willing to consider Jones Act waivers," and noted that foreign vessels were being used. A statement issued June 18 said that 15 foreign-flagged vessels were involved in the cleanup, and none required Jones Act waivers.

That's in part because of a specific exemption in the act that can allow for the use of foreign "oil spill response vessels," said H. Clayton Cook, a Washington attorney and expert on the Jones Act.

Cook, a Republican, said there had been longstanding opposition to the act, which many see as protectionist and a bow to unions, but there was no evidence that the Jones Act was standing in the way of the cleanup. "This is being used for political purposes. It's a classic red herring."

Why did it take more than three weeks to buy the Dutch skimmers?

U.S. officials did not directly answer this question. A State Department spokesman suggested that the nature of the offer and bureaucratic requirements might have something to do with it.

The Dutch offer, like most offers of foreign assistance, was to sell supplies, State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley told reporters. "And in determining whether to accept these offers, we look at the availability of domestic sources and also compare pricing on the open market. So that may be one of the reasons why, in some cases, we've been able to accept these offers and pursued them," he said.


Having to do things legally is a pain, isn't it? That's why agencies like FEMA exist, the details for who and how can be worked out ahead of time. Again, unlike what happened in this case.


Perhaps you can send me a link about the Coast Guard tests that kept ships offline for a long time. I know about the huge skimmer ship they tested (and found didn't work) but other than that I'm not sure what you're referring too.


Posted by: Jim at July 15, 2010 04:18 PM

Are you honestly trying to tell me the procedure BP applied today (instead of yesterday) had been planned and discussed for months? I was under the impression that this was Plan C or D.

Uh Jim, ALL the plans were intended to cap the well. And this plan has been in the works for over 2 weeks at least.

Having to do things legally is a pain, isn't it?

Only when it helps your union friends. A simple waiver of the Jones Act, despite the pathetic attempts of the State Dept. to deflect criticism, would have had plenty of help in the Gulf in short order.

Posted by: TomB at July 15, 2010 04:40 PM

First of all all the plans were not intended to cap the well, the relief wells -- the only way to actually stop the leak for good -- are still plan A.

Secondly, what about the testing of the well and the geology related to this specific cap attempt that has been performed this week? Obviously the Administration should have had those results in advance. Months ago no doubt.


Still pushing the Jones Act lie? Foreign flagged ships are being used as we speak.



The administration and Allen said the Jones Act had not prevented the response team from accepting the offers. In a June 11 news briefing, Allen, the national incident commander, said, "We are more than willing to consider Jones Act waivers," and noted that foreign vessels were being used. A statement issued June 18 said that 15 foreign-flagged vessels were involved in the cleanup, and none required Jones Act waivers.

That's in part because of a specific exemption in the act that can allow for the use of foreign "oil spill response vessels," said H. Clayton Cook, a Washington attorney and expert on the Jones Act.

Cook, a Republican, said there had been longstanding opposition to the act, which many see as protectionist and a bow to unions, but there was no evidence that the Jones Act was standing in the way of the cleanup. "This is being used for political purposes. It's a classic red herring."

Or if you prefer a different set of sources and a much more detailed account try:

http://www.factcheck.org/2010/06/oil-spill-foreign-help-and-the-jones-act/

Let me know what you think after reading up on it a little more.


Posted by: Jim at July 15, 2010 04:52 PM