The Big Freakin’ Mess

09rig01_span-articleLarge Let's talk about the mess in the Gulf.

BP's oil spill is getting bigger and messier every day. I've been waiting to post on the topic until I could see a clear political debate forming. "Ick" and "ack" are pretty much universal, bipartisan reactions. The politics are evolving.

The questions are: Is the Obama administration doing enough? Have they wasted too much time by waiting for BP to plug this hole? Does there need to be more oversight over the oil industry? What are the implications for energy politics? Is anybody going to say "Drill, Baby, Drill" ever again? Will this mean more money that goes to green energy? Who is going to pay for this clean up? Does BP have enough money to pay restitution and to collect all the crap from the ocean?

Good Links: New York Times' Interactive Oil Spill Map.

6 thoughts on “The Big Freakin’ Mess

  1. Who is going to pay for this clean up?
    That’s not really a mystery. The only question is how we’ll pay for it.

  2. I can’t believe the hands-off stance the government is taking. We have an enormous navy that hasn’t fought a ship-to-ship battle of any significance since WWII. Bring them in and give them some buckets. If the government wants to give the bill to BP afterwards, fine by me, but use what you’ve got.

  3. I think Mike’s got the right idea. The Navy has engineers, leaders, and manpower. Hard to believe the could do any worse than BP. And I want to see BP suffer-not go bankrupt with golden parachtes, but pay, pay, pay, for ad long as it takes.

  4. Frankly I feel somewhat complicit in this whole mess. I buy products from all these big oil companies; my whole house is full of plastic crap made from petroleum. If they weren’t raking in the dollars (mine included) they would’t be drilling.

  5. Yeah, I’m a little hard-pressed to see how the naval fleet is set up to clean this spill, and I’m also not convinced that the now-unemployed fishing fleet would welcome the government taking what work they could now get. Not to mention the greater ease of working with oil booms off the side of fishing vessels instead of cruisers.
    I don’t think the Obama administration could win, here. First, because say what you will about corporations, I find it hard to believe that the government knew MORE about working at the bottom of the ocean than BP. BP may be mangling this now, but I’m inclined to think, if they can’t figure out a fix, then there just isn’t one. It’s not as if these guys are novices in underwater drilling.
    (If I were on their Board of Directors, I’d be going hat in hand to the Norwegians about now, just to see if anyone else has any ideas.)
    And second, because what institutional knowledge the government had was well and truly gutted during the last Bush administration. And I’m not real clear on how much the Clinton administration spent on regulation and oversight, either. So the idea that the Obama administration has managed to allocate a bunch of funds to anything that wasn’t already a blazing wildfire of trouble seems … unlikely, and not necessarily in a “how could they be so foolish” sort of way.

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