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  • Morning Bell: Did the Federal Government Enable the Gulf Oil Spill?

    An “angry” President Barack Obama lashed out at those he feels are responsible for the Gulf oil spill Friday, telling reporters in the Rose Garden: “You had executives of BP and Transocean and Halliburton falling over each other to point the finger of blame at somebody else. I will not tolerate any more finger-pointing or irresponsibility.” But as CBS News‘ Chip Reid points out: “Mr. Obama’s been president for nearly 16 months. Does he get at least a little piece of the blame?” Pointing to President Obama’s staunch defense of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Reid answered his own question: “Not a bit. … He portrayed his administration as valiantly fighting the good fight against the oil companies from day one. …So while the president is pointing the finger of blame, he’s also working hard to make sure that over time the finger doesn’t do a 180.”

    In the President’s mind the federal government apparently can do no wrong. The leading answer to every problem our nation faces is bigger, stronger, and more intrusive government regulations. But a closer look at the facts surrounding the spill shows that it was an already overly oppressive regulatory legal framework, coupled with lax enforcement, that created the mismatched incentives that led to the disaster.

    The federal government is the owner of the waters where drilling takes place and bears ultimate responsibility for what happens on its property. Energy companies seeking to develop our natural resources must survive a phalanx of federal regulations before any action can be taken. For starters, any action taken by the federal government, including offshore drilling leases, requires a detailed environmental impact analysis mandated by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). But NEPA is such a draconian law, and the process can be so slow thanks to litigation, that to get anything done the federal government often grants waivers to the NEPA process. Which is exactly what happened with the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in question.

    Regulations also require the Interior Department to inspect rigs at regular intervals, and the Deepwater rig was supposedly inspected less than two weeks prior to the accident. The rig’s emergency shutoff valve, which reportedly had a dead battery, also passed inspection just 10 days before it failed. In addition to these intrusively written but leniently enforced regulations, the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990 set a $75 million liability cap beyond direct cleanup costs for any offshore oil spill. The net result of all of all these policies is a situation where nobody is responsible for safety because everybody is.

    The answer to the Gulf oil spill is not a new ban on domestic energy production or more intrusive regulations. The best way to make sure future spills do not happen is make energy companies responsible for safety but to then also hold them fully responsible for any accidents. Combining liability with a responsibility for safety maintenance should minimize the likelihood of accidents by directly connecting profit motives to safe operations. It is also high time the entire NEPA process was reformed. NEPA’s pervasive application makes it highly burdensome and difficult to follow, which drives the need for waivers. As waivers become the norm, they become easier to attain even when, perhaps, they should be denied.

    If the Obama administration insists on micromanaging every aspect of energy production then it should also be prepared to have the finger pointed at itself when things go wrong.

    Quick Hits:

    • Days after Attorney General Eric Holder admitted he had not even read Arizona’s new immigration law, Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner apologized to China for the law during human rights talks.
    • According to the IMF, the U.S. national debt will reach 100% of GDP by 2015.
    • Based on tax collection reports from more than a dozen states, the recession may have taken a heavier-than-expected toll on employment last year.
    • A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 51% of voters nationwide believe the United States is the last best hope of mankind.
    • The new health care law will pack 32 million newly insured people into emergency rooms already crammed beyond capacity, according to experts on healthcare facilities.
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    93 Responses to Morning Bell: Did the Federal Government Enable the Gulf Oil Spill?

    1. MJF, CT says:

      Interesting article. I laughed as I read how the finger could be pointed to the Federal Government because it would be comical if the government were to be sued for this whole thing. Interesting as it is, the rig passed inspection 10 days before the accident and there was a dead battery in the only fail safe feature! It almost sounds like someone cut some corners on the inspection but then, aren't the inspectors union workers? Just a thought!

    2. IBMike says:

      As with anything else associated with the Obama administration and this liberal congress, pointing the finger at everyone else except themselves is a common, highly tuned process. But the Obaminator and his minions should keep in mind one very salient and oft overlooked truth: When you point your finger at anybody, you have three more fingers pointing back at yourself!! This might be a schoolyard point of order, but both Obama and his unelected goons as well as the out of control liberal congress would be well advised to consider that the liberal policies and missteps and outright laisse faire attitude often taken have on many occasions had a direct impact on one nasty outcome after another, e.g., the housing bubble burst, et al.

    3. William Lulias, St. says:

      It is evident this administration, when not spewing erroneous facts or untruths, picks and chooses who to hold accountable for tragic disasterous events. The oil spill, in typical Obama fashion, points the finger at BP. Understandably the facts must be bore out to prevent such a travesty from happening again, but this "cozy relationship" comment is beyond any semblance of coherant rhetoric. Did he have a cozy relationship with Goldman-Sachs? But that is different. What about our financial disaster? His cohorts were watching that hen house but what about the "cozy relationship"? Okay, that's different. Which disaster is more tramatic, the enviromental spill or the financial collaspe? What do we do now, let an inexperienced, self serving, big government, far left President decide? The next tragic event is unfolding before our eyes, the demise of our government and what honorable values we had left.

    4. Gary says:

      If there was a failure of "engineering" either design or maintenance, maybe the blame does belong to different companies. In America this is what courts are for, arguement is part of our Constitutional Republic. Only in a Dictatorship are there no so called "disagreements," where people are afraid of total power of government.

    5. Duncan Druhl says:

      This president does not know the phrase: "Yes, it was my responsibility and we made a mistake." This president does not have the personal capacity to admit or accept the responsibility for things that go wrong on his watch. While for Harry, it may have been that the "buck stops here", for this president, the buck is diverted anywhere else, to anyone within blaming distance. If the voters didn't see or perceive this before they elected him, so much for the ability of people to sense character in others.

      I'm going with Linus, "we're doomed."

    6. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Yet another classic example of:

      "Well intended legislation by the uninformed and ill advised with ulterior motives that leads to unintended negative consequences".

      Bigger government is the problem – not the solution.

    7. Brad, Detroit, MI says:

      When I heard Obama say for the umpteenth time . . ."mistakes were made in the past decade . . ." regarding the oil spill, I nearly drove off the road. When is this clown going to stop trying to blame Bush ? This would be laughable if it were coming from Robert Gibberish (the press secretary) and the spin control artists, but this was uttered by the President. It's as though he is already in campaign mode for 2012. I am so sick of hearing this guy's voice, instead of getting chills up my leg like Chris Matthews (BTW – does anybody watch that guy anymore ?), I get sick to my stomach. He has not accepted blame for ANYTHING in his 17 months at the wheel of the ship, which goes to show that he is not a real leader (and never will be).

    8. Anita Metairie says:

      Oh obummer, you are such an liar. The main reason BP and companies like BP get away with what they do is maybe just maybe the almost one million dollars they gave to you gave them 10 billion dollars of protection. Hm, the government program that was suppose to be watching them, were they looking at porno movies also? This is the government that we need more of. Am I right? Just start one government entity after another and all they have to do is collect money for politicians and look at porno movies. This is our government at work. Hm, Hm, Hm, change we can believe in.

    9. Charlene Edmundson, says:

      Bravo. Keep up the good work. You are one of the very few sources of true information left for the citizens of the US and the world. Thanks to all of your staff. We cannot create the wind but we can set our sails. We can keep our America honorable and our country's character in tact despite the adversity we face. Every citizen that enjoys the privilidges earned by our patriots needs to recognize this and stake the American Flag, literally, verbally and emotionally.

      A 59 year old grandmother of 8, Republican, on mother's day, campaigned for the first time in her life this year. We did not win but I am proud to.say, I did what I could, It is a satisfying feeling to put actions in motion rather than words.

      Grateful American Citizen in Omaha Nebraska

    10. MN says:

      Sounds familiar, like the problems swirling around the sub-prime mortgage market.

    11. Blair, Franconia, NH says:

      We gave Barack Obama command of the ship of state, and he turned it into the Lusitania. Now it's sinking and he's blaming the previous captain, when he should enter the head, (bathroom), and look at himself in the mirror. Enough of these cliched

      ship analogies. What's my point? My point is that This is the same plot as those '70s

      disaster movies. The hero tries to warn everybody and the treat him like the Boy Who

      Cried Wolf.

    12. randydutton says:

      $128,000,000 per day is what Gulf of Mexico oil brings into the US economy. Let us not lose sight of the economic war we are fighting. Without this oil, prices WILL go up, jihadists WILL get more funding from some oil exporting countries, and our economy will collapse faster.

      A Democratically controlled Congress has been in charge for 3-1/2 years. Congress does oversight over MMS and DOI. Democrats in Congress bears some of the responsibility (yes Republicans do too). It's time to enforce the laws, not just make new ones.

      Question: How many MMS and Dept. of Interior workers have been fired for bribery, negligence, and failing to follow procedure?

    13. Neal Palmquist - Ohi says:

      "So while the president is pointing the finger of blame, he’s also working hard to make sure that over time the finger doesn’t do a 180"

      That's fine, but shouldn't he be working to stop and clean up the leak? Can the investigation wait until after the corrective response? No more of these events are anticipated to happen, right?

      This makes me wonder and try to remember who did the Soviets blame for Chernobyl?

    14. Mary.... WI says:

      Just watch…….the government under this administration will naltionalize oil companies……it's all a part of his agenda as is the possible takeover of our 401K's and IRA accounts to help pay down this country's HUGE deficit created by Obama. BIG GOVERNMENT! SOCIALISM!? MARXISM!? FACISM!? COMMUNISM!? It is not good folks.

      I took offense to Obama's scolding of all the companies involved. Surely there was a better, more tactful way of getting his message across. His inexperience is coming through loud and clear every time he opens his mouth.

    15. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      The major reason for this disaster is completelt being missed or delibertly by-passed. Obama and the anti-drilling crowd is quick to place the blame on everything and everyone (including of course Bush). It simple, the B.O.P. failed to shut off the flow after the blow-out because of "mechanical failure", Period!

      What industry is more regulated than the airlines? Yet we still have aifcraft crashes. The auto industry, there are still break-downs and wrecks. Any piece of mechanical equipment that is made by man can fail, even minutes after being inspected. It's that simple. Forcing more and more regulations on the oil/drilling

      companies will do nothing but add to their overall efforts and a more expensive products that will be passed on to us. Obama and the enviromential radicals want to end all drilling (off shore and inland) thus they will use any and every exucse they can to achive that end.

    16. steve kokosinski says:

      Were was the NEPA on this???? dead battery???? this is called an inspection?????

      Obama does not tolerate pointing fingers???? HE NEEDS TO STOP POINTING HIS FINGER AT EVERYONE ELSE AND START TAKING RESPONSABILIITY.

      Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, how could his inspection teem miss a dead battery, did they even look at the battery???? Were is the full report on the inspection????

      How could they over look such a critical component as the safety shu-tdown battery???? Obama should be looking in a mirror when he is pointing HIS FINGER.

    17. steve kokosinski Cle says:

      Were was the NEPA on this???? dead battery???? this is called an inspection?????

      Obama does not tolerate pointing fingers???? HE NEEDS TO STOP POINTING HIS FINGER AT EVERYONE ELSE AND START TAKING RESPONSABILIITY.

      Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, how could his inspection teem miss a dead battery, did they even look at the battery???? Were is the full report on the inspection????

      How could they over look such a critical component as the safety shu-tdown battery???? Obama should be looking in a mirror when he is pointing HIS FINGER.

    18. Joseph Pantes, Washi says:

      Morons.

    19. Joseph Pantes, Washi says:

      The baggers, that is.

    20. Keith, Tampa, FL says:

      Once again, a call for less government intrusion and more accountability.

    21. Don Harper, Lubbock, says:

      This makes me really look forward to all the government intrusion, excuse me, I meant regulation, that we'll get when Congress passes a comprehensive energy bill.

    22. steve kokosinski Cle says:

      Were was the NEPA on this???? dead battery???? this is called an inspection?????

      Obama does not tolerate pointing fingers???? HE NEEDS TO STOP POINTING HIS FINGER AT EVERYONE ELSE AND START TAKING RESPONSIBILITY.

      Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, how could his inspection teem miss a dead battery, did they even look at the battery???? Were is the full report on the inspection????

      How could they over look such a critical component as the safety shut-down battery???? Obama should be looking in a mirror when he is pointing HIS FINGER.

    23. steve kokosinski Cle says:

      Were was the NEPA on this???? dead battery???? this is called an inspection?????

      Obama does not tolerate pointing fingers???? HE NEEDS TO STOP POINTING HIS FINGER AT EVERYONE ELSE AND START TAKING RESPONSIBILITY.

      Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, how could his inspection teem miss a dead battery, did they even look at the battery???? Were is the full report on the inspection????

      How could they over look such a critical component as the safety shut-down battery???? .

    24. ann kitay fulton, tx says:

      Was scanning your front page and an opening phrase caught my attention – "In the President's mind the Federal Government '…Therein lies the probllem – in his mind! Yet the problem remains the same – how do we get through to him and those who are his ardent followers that their basic premise is not only incorrect but unworkable. I'm not the most logical person on the block but my take is that he does not have and never has had any intention to guide or lead this country based on constitutional principles. It seems they are anathema to him. May God help us all and forgive us for what looks as if it will befall us – we are in a constitutional crisis – one election is not going to change much and only lend more impetus to those whose desire is to pull us down to their idea of where we belong.

    25. Frank25 says:

      Obama has been blaming George W. Bush for everything that happened during Bush administration, and has continued since 20 Jan 2009. His White House smear machine has not missed a chance. When FDA has federal inspectors on the chicken processing lines to examine every chicken, and inspectors on the beef, sheep, hog killing lines, why isn't there a rotating crew of inspectors on each drilling rig, with those crews being rotated periodically. New eyes see problems, and cozy arrangements do not develop. Live with the drilling crews, eat with them, and observe actual practices. Deep water oil/gas drilling very dangerous whole areas, people, and animals/bird than improper processing of pork,beef,chicken,sheep. And passing another law or regulation does not improve safety. My experience in military and civilian work, has been that OSHA and EPA create hazards, and exist to collect taxes (hidden as fines). I am retired now, but I have no love or respect for them. Their enforcement of rigid standards created working hazards for me and my work sections. Also a Security problem if I had followed their demand to install 2nd door and a window into a Top Secret Secuity Vault in a ground level building.

    26. Thomas Hodges, Arlin says:

      I'm a Hertiage member and read the daily emails I receive from the Foundation. I rely on these to frame my conservative views on current events. But in today's email ("Did The Federal Government Enable the Gulf Oil Spill?"), two links are included to support statements but fail to do so:

      "The rig's emergency shutoff valve, which reportedly had a dead battery, also passed inspection just 10 days before it failed". Nothing in that link shows where Interior did this inspection. The link is to a While House press conference where no mention of inspections was made.

      And in "Quick Hits", the link to "…Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner apologized to China for the law during human rights talks" established nothing to support that Posner "apologized".

      If I've missed something, I apologize. But if I'm correct, I'd appreciate a response on why these were portrayed to support a Hertitage position when they do not.

      • Conn Carroll Conn Carroll says:

        Thomas-
        Here is the link to the dead battery story: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld
        Here is the link to the story showing it was inspected 10 days before: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/arti

        Here is the transcript from the State Department presser: http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0510/Apolo
        QUESTION: Was there any areas in which China sort of turned the tables and raised its own complaints or concerns about U.S. practices around the globe or at home? Can you give some examples there –

        ASSISTANT SECRETARY POSNER: Sure. You know, I think – again, this goes back to Ambassador Huntsman's comment. Part of a mature relationship is that you have an open discussion where you not only raise the other guy's problems, but you raise your own, and you have a discussion about it. We did plenty of that. We had experts from the U.S. side, for example, yesterday, talking about treatment of Muslim Americans in an immigration context. We had a discussion of racial discrimination. We had a back-and-forth about how each of our societies are dealing with those sorts of questions. …

        QUESTION: Did the recently passed Arizona immigration law come up? And, if so, did they bring it up or did you bring it up?

        ASSISTANT SECRETARY POSNER: We brought it up early and often. It was mentioned in the first session, and as a troubling trend in our society and an indication that we have to deal with issues of discrimination or potential discrimination, and that these are issues very much being debated in our own society.

    27. Jan Rose says:

      Over the weekend I heard MMS was given notice of problems at another site called Atlantic or Atlantis Platform , which is further out to sea. A whistle blower from that site in 2008 and 2009 went to the government complaining about maintenance procedures. Could you please follow up on this? If this is true, then why did they talk like they did not know this could ever occur?

    28. Pard,Missouri says:

      I worked in the minerals industry for 40 years and had close contact with government regulatory agencies and personnel. Unfortunately 90% or more were technically incompetent….the best government agencies were those like the U. S. Geological Survey…those engaged in research.

    29. David Williams says:

      When you point a finger at someone else, there are four pointing back at you. Obama hasn't figured that out yet.

    30. Shirley Eliakis, Tra says:

      Got a chuckle out of B.O.'s comment about finger-pointing–I wish I could be there every time he points the finger at the past administration with a mirror, so that he can look at his own image receiving the "finger of blame"!!!

    31. chris G, PA, USA says:

      When you point a finger at someone you also point 3 others back at yourself….

    32. Bob Veigel, Arlingto says:

      Our government, past and present and maybe future, has a great deal of responsibility for the current gulf oil mess. Stupid rules, regulations and laws that restrict drilling in many areas have caused oil companies to establish drill sites in places that are just asking for problems, such as very deep water sites.

      Will such regulations ever change? Doubtful, as long as corrupt and incompetent politicians are in office.

    33. Mike says:

      barry will never take responsibility, but he will take BP's money.

    34. Mary E. Miller says:

      Heard this morn. that the feds examined this oil rig, gave it an award for excellence before the platform blew up.!!! Heard it on Rush radio.

      UMH, UMH, and more Mary

    35. Gary Wise says:

      Remember when demoRATS blamed President Bush for the New Orleans hurricane? Obuma did this one by delyaing a decision to do something he made it worst., Remember weeks before announced he was going to allow drilling in the gulf ? Now all he had to do is find a way of getting a oil rig to go haywire. Then it happened. For a week or more he adid NOTHING. Then finally he said BP caused it, delayed more. No when a disaster happens the government is suppose to do everything in its power to assist in the cleanup and investigate what happen. BP announced they would pay for any damage. They will. But now Obuma will say it is to dangerous to drill in water and discontinue drilling.If they would allow drilling on land this would not happen in the first place., Bet on it!

    36. Kenneth Kimball Ozar says:

      I agree with every one and the article the government says that they need to run the lives of the American society. But as I read or here of every thing that is going on I can see that the government cant even get there own problems solved without causing more problems that they push on to the American public.The real people to blame are those how put these idiots in office stupid is as stupid dose when will we learn.

    37. Eugene Patton, Color says:

      If the Obama administration insists on micromanaging every aspect of energy production then it should also be prepared to have the finger pointed at itself when things go wrong.

      The company and Obama should be responsible.

    38. Ken Jarvis says:

      It is IMPOSSIBLE to KNOW which way the HF will swing -

      Today it is -

      "In the President's mind the federal government apparently can do no wrong. "

      Not long ago it was -

      Obama on his APOLOGIZE

      for the things the USA did TOUR.

      Is THAT what HF calls "Logic"?

      LVKen7@Gmail.com

    39. toledofan says:

      It's just amazing that Obama never wants to accept anty responsibility for anything. I meran isn't he the President and doesn't he know when things happen they belong to him? The bigger the government the more chances for failure, the missed inspections, the lack of teeth, no follow up, and most of the time looking the wrong way. It's time to clean house and put some people in charge who will be in 'charge'.

    40. Roy Nelson League Ci says:

      It is SOP (standard operating procedure) in the Obama Administration to point the finger of blame at everyone else and demonize entire industries (think insurance, banking, big oil, etc). I am certain that the American public is getting fed up up with this rhetoric from the President and his minions. I really enjoy the Summer, but I wish it was November.

    41. Gayle Kindall 94553 says:

      It is correct that the President does not know how to accept blame of any

      sort. Of the few apologies he has made, an excuse or flimsy rational precedes

      them. And of course he is never fully to blame. I am beginning to realize

      deeper arguments for the pro and con regulations issue. I contend that fewer

      regulations and fewer bureaucracies would be more productive. Let's pay good

      independent regulators to enforce the lesser amounts of tangled rules and to

      enevitably being much more effective.

    42. pepper jantzen says:

      It is not beneath the dignity of the current administration's character to cause the economy to fail, is anything else they could cause beneath their dignity?

    43. Tom Berquist, Pennsy says:

      The federal government was totally involved with the recession through fannie mae and freddie mac and now they have betrayed the American public with poor oversite of the oil industry. The oil industry and wall street should be punished for the lack of morals but the government needs a total revamp and those involved should go to jail. Barney Frank should lead the parade.

    44. Billie says:

      The government gave the okay. All is clear. Set-up! Government failure killing human lives with their dereliction! An efficient way to defame oil industries and create the illusion of need for government growth and future crisis'.

      Good, intelligent governing is limited and avoids crisis. Over populated government with ulterior motives, stumbling over themselves, uses every opportunity to create a crisis…or many.

    45. Todd Wolf, Limerick, says:

      Another example of the intellectual argument being subordinated to the political argument. When confronting issues of grave concern, it is always best to distinguish symptoms from problems, and problems from dilemmas and predicaments. We are all suffering the symptoms (consequences intended and unintended) of a problem (a situation that has a solution) that created a dilemma (any situation requiring the choice between two unpleasant alternatives) that has morphed into a predicament (an unpleasant and/or embarrassing situation). Trying to do everything, the government does nothing well … and it keeps growing and growing and growing. The moral of this Ass-Soap Fable: When your hands are in everything you have a handle on nothing.

    46. Christine, Gainesvil says:

      Actually, he *did* accept responsibility. The article is inaccurate.

    47. Diane, Marlton, NJ says:

      Geez, isnt' this another crisis that will lead to total control over the people? I believe it is,,,,and this time they are digging deeper into our food supply.

    48. Steven G. Poyzer, Up says:

      Was he looking in the mirror when he was angrily lashing out about the gulf oil spill?

    49. Rustie C., Louisiana says:

      I found it humorous that both Obama and Bill O'Riley (both lawyers) came down on the BP, Trans-Ocean, and Haliburton for finger pointing in the Congressional Hearing. These guys know that a mountain of litigation is coming their way in the immediate future, and they all have voluminous legal council. Do you believe in your heart of hearts that their individual legal council would advise them to go before the Congressional Hearing and confess that their company was 100% responsible for the worst environmental accident of the Twenty-First Century? Any lawyer that gave that advice to a client should himself be sent to prison for malpractice.

      I personally have many other germaine questions concerning the accident. Why has the government and the media not inquired as to the facts that led up to the blow-out? Why did the logging unit not detect the formation flow (gas & crude)into the cased bore hole? Why wasn't anyone looking at the shale shaker to see if the mud return was of a greater volume than what they were pumping down? Why did they set a safety valve at 1,000 feet below the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, and then pump out the 18-19 pound per gallon mud on top od the safety valve, and replace it with 8.7 pounds per gallon seawater?

      A truth when drilling a deep well is that a gas bubble the size of a softball at 18,000 feet will not fit into a 100 boxcar train at the surface. This is because as the gas bubble comes up the casing/pipe annulus there is less and less pressure and the gas expands (remember Boyle's Law from highschool physics).
      Finally, I personally am not an alarmist by nature, why is there a U.S. media/government blackout on inquires into a terrorist attack, and if it was not suspected, why was the first response for the Government to send down their idiot Politano along with swat teams to "guard" offshore platforms. Having worked offshore, in my earlier years, the last thing you need on an offshore drilling rig or production platform is armed men that have no idea what is going on.

    50. KC - New Mexico says:

      The media needs to help in determining who to point the finger at. This is a classic example of how badly the current administration is performing. BO is where the buck stops and his pitiful excuse of an Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, should also be blamed. From a quality perspective, the audit performed is a joke – where was the NEPA on this issue? A dead battery with a pass in an audit!! This is called an inspection – what a joke!

    51. KLIMAX Baltimore MD. says:

      Obama sticks his nose in everything he shouldn't but is slow, so slow to stick it (his nose) into the things he should !! His resent opinion on SB 1070 in Arizona was way out of line considering it mirrored the Federal law he refuses to allow any enforcement on !! If he was the man he claims to be he would take responsibility for the lack of oversight by the Government in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill !! Unfortunately he has chosen the cowardly way out and decided to blame the oil companies when they are only deserve 50% of the blame but should have to shoulder 100% of the cost of the clean up !! The tax payers will end up paying for the bulk of the clean up costs but Obama should pony up a chunk of that 5 Million dollars he made last year for being asleep at the switch !!!

    52. Joan Sarasota says:

      Haven't you learned that Obama has thin skin when it comes to critisism, but a hard head when he wants to jam everything down our throats that he wants. He acts like a spoiled brat. He certainly is not a man.

    53. bigdave ocala fl says:

      Dear Mr Posner: the REAL TROUBLING TREND IN OUR SOCIETY is a government which considers CRISIES as OPPORTUNITIES, and totally compliant in CREATING THOSE CRISIES, then using them as another opportunity to DIVIDE AND CONQUER! Hate begets HATE and we have a supreme HATER-IN-CHIEF!! It is abundantly clear that Obama has as his goal the splitting up of races, first blacks and browns against whites, now the COMMUNIST POSNER tosses in some Chinese, the most brutal of all destroyers of human rights. You can not REMAKE a NATION into a SOCIALIST STATE without first TEARING IT DOWN!! The PROGRESSIVES have that as their daily goal. This entire administration is CRIMINAL in that they REFUSE TO ENFORCE AMERICAN LAW, and they took an oath to do so. So EXACTLY WHO are the enforcers of existing AMERICAN LAW? HERITAGE, we look to you for the answer.

    54. peyton reed, irvine, ca says:

      I believe this oil spill demonstrates that off-shore drilling is inherently too risky to continue. The notion that technology can effectively control a well head a mile under water probably falls into the category of wishful thinking. Like nuclear energy, the risk of failure is too great. We certainly need energy, but pursuing sources that have the potential for environmental, economic and human catastrophe is unreasonable.

    55. Don, Raleigh, NC says:

      "I will not tolerate any more finger-pointing or irresponsibility." Strange coming from a guy who blames George Bush for every failure of his own.

    56. Dave, Provo, UT says:

      First, always enjoy the wide range of comments, they enlarge my thinking horizon.

      Have worked for a variety of agencies making and evaluating environmental impact statements. There were always pressure groups trying to defend themselves and asking for concessions because their project is a special case. BP is a master at concession requests. And I also turned in many violations that were never acted on. So the failure of the BP deep well inspection died on someone's desk. Unfortunately in government agencies those who man the dead desks are rarely held accountable. Only when we get accountability will trust be returned to congress and government agencies. As David Starr Jordan said, "Wisdom is knowing what should be done and virtue is doing it."

    57. Tim Philadelphia says:

      Yeah just like we should make Doctors fully responsible for medical mistakes. OPPS that would mean no cap on medical malpractice claims either reverse that we need tort reform!!!

    58. Richard - South Caro says:

      President Obama has done nothing but point fingers at others during his entire presidency. It's time for him to grow up and accept responsibility for him and his entire staff!. For him to get on his "soap box" and lambast the entities involved in the oil spill for "pointing the blame" to each other is hypocrisy at its worst!

    59. u.s. says:

      Obama is furious about oil companies pointing the finger at others. What about him pointing the finger at Bush every time he is blamed for something. Does he really think we are that stupid?

    60. Lil, San Diego says:

      As some have already stated anything the Fed is involved becomes problematical and these are the bureaucrats which will be handling obamacare! I can hardly wait!

    61. WM, La says:

      I also find it interesting that it takes so long to solve the problem of the oil pouring out at such a large rate. Instead of regulations on top of regulations there should be a "what if" plan that can be addressed within an hour after a disaster is started. Why has it taken so long to shut off the oil spill? Chemical and nuclear power plants have disaster plans ready for implementation under the most dire circumstances. This should be a required approach to have a disaster plan ready for immediate action.

    62. Danny/Fla says:

      Dear Morning Bell: The timing of this serious event, will be heard for many decades. Oil is political, and it is predicated on major World events-effecting every individual, in his life his pocket book, and the very food he will pay for, and consume. ask your self what are other implementations from this disaster?

    63. Brad, Chicago says:

      [sarcasm] You can understand how some things can go under the administration's radar. There are just so many crises to deal with, something is bound to be missed.

      The problem is that not every bad thing that happens is someone's fault. Machinery malfuntioned; it happens. If the oil companies are such bad people, the government should have just handled the oil spill, themselves. You don't handle that situation by watching the other guy fail and yelling at him for it, which the government has done, in this case. While the oil company should still be financially responsible for dealing with the mess, the government was supposed to prevent it through safety inspection and make sure the cleanup was handled properly after the spill occurred. We can only offer conjecture on why they failed in these duties. Because the administration was anti-oil before this happened, I wonder if it simply became the perfect chance to gain support for that ideology by demonstrating how awful drilling is and how evil the oil companies are. Who was it that said, "Never let a good crisis go to waste"? (of course, "good" "crisis" is an oxymoron)

    64. Lori Cramer says:

      I agree with you 100%. The Obama administration i very qyick to point the finger at everyone else for ANYTHING that is not going right, but they will NEVER take blame for anything, even when they themselves have caused the problem. such as this monstrous health care reform, its cost, the lies they told to get it passed. Their tak-over of the auto industry, the banking industry when not one of the people in his administration has even run a business. They ar now "running" us. They do not want our oil. They want us dependant on foreign oil.

    65. bigdave ocala fl says:

      IT IS QUITE OBVIOUS THAT HERITAGE IS AFRAID OF THE TOTAL TRUTH. NO WONDER YOU HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR SO LONG AND HAVE ACHIEVED SO LITTLE, WITH A COMMUNIST/SOCIALIST TAKEOVER RIGHT UNDER YOUR ALL-KNOWING NOSE. MAYBE ITS BECAUSE YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN IN ACTUAL COMBAT LIKE MYSELF. YOU REALLY DON'T KNOW HOW TO FIGHT A TOUGH OPPONENT WHO HAS AS HIS GOAL…YOUR DESTRUCTION. YOU ARE A HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT. WHILE THE LEFT SUCCEEDS IN DEFILING AND TRASHING EVERYTHING CONSERVATIVE WITH THEIR NONSTOP BARRAGE OF LIES AND HALFTRUTHS, HERITAGE JUST MEEKLY WAVES THEIR WHIMPY LITTLE FLAG HOPING TO BE NOTICED. KNOW THE TRUTH, SPEAK THE TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH SHALL KEEP YOU FREE.

    66. SPO101 says:

      JEEZ, blaming President Obama and the Democrats for the oil drilling disaster in the Gulf..? You Conservative wackos are shameless. Maybe you could tell those idiot Republicans in Congress you voted for, ton STOP holding up Obama appointees so the Democrats can make some PROGRESS fixing the huge mess left over from the Bush/Cheney disaster and the Republican controlled Congress 1994-2006

      consciousmc.blogspot.com

    67. SAMUEL says:

      This is so like obambbba. As AMERICA is sinking, obambba is running around the world playing mr. hollywood. How can you run a country and never be in the office. I guess that means you have great people holding you up.

      Once obambba took office everything that happens on his watch is his baby. That means when we go completely under our first black prez. was on call. Perhaps he will say it was above his pay grade.

      It has been above his pay grade from day one.

      A harvard grad., a leader it does not make.

    68. Roger / Clarence, NY says:

      Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen and AMEN!

    69. Medusa, St. Johns Co says:

      From the beginning I sensed that there were saboteurs in this rig. Corruption has become so horrific in our beloved country, that I wouldn't be surprised if this blow out was ordered by the main turban so this administration may keep on doing the "belly dance bowing" with the middle east corrupted oil braggers. And one wonders, how much in bribes is the main turban getting?

    70. Pingback: MoConservativePatriot.com » Gulf Oil Spill and the Quid-pro-quo of Policy

    71. David Pillow says:

      Well said. Check out my YouTube video at MrDavidPillow. I am tired of this bonehead president.

    72. harv, Pa says:

      It seems strange that there was a fire in a refinery in Oreagon, the explosion on the drilling rig ,then another fire in a refinery in Louisiana seems to me someone or somebody is giving Obama the reason he needs to shut donw all oil drilling and exploration in and around this country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    73. Rhoda141 says:

      ThisOil Blast and all that has happened is nothng but Sabotage, with BP right up Obama's and the Idiot Democrat WH A____ and they are all in this together. Obama only said last month that there would be some Oil Drilling and now things have changed. He wasn't going to let Oil Drilling be done because he is afraid that it will keep his Demonic Saudi Arabian Oil country from getting their money from the US. Obama hates the American people and he is the biggest lier that I have ever seen in my life. This outrages the American people and those that aren't outraged will have to pay big money just like everyone else for gas to even get around town. These Idiots are going to let the Federal Government and taxpayers keep them from having to pay anything and they will continue to be that way as long as the government let them.

    74. Marion Leigon Ashevi says:

      If you listened to 60 Minutes on CBS Sunday night the answer was there.

      There were two vital parts in separate areas that were worn, and needed replacing. The employee in charge of each area was told of the condition of the parts, and they declined to order them repaired.

      Perhaps you can get a replay of the program, because it leaves no doubt as to who is responsible. BPS.

      Also, it was reported that BP has made 30 billion dollars in the first quarter of 2010.

    75. Lawrence Baker says:

      BP and Obama are lying SOB’s and to add further insult they suggest that the American public is so stupid that we can not estimate the flow of oil. Of course, we need to see video of the TOTAL damage before we can do that! Tell those SOB’s to produce All of the video of the leaking wellhead, preventer and pipe string. TODAY!

    76. Lawrence Baker says:

      As American citizen victims, we demand to see ALL the video of the leaking blow-out preventer, leaking wellhead and the string of blown-out pipe with its numerous leaks. The only video BP released last week is of one leak at the end of the pipe far from the leaking wellhead and leaking preventer which is under much more pressure and leaking profusely. If the wellhead and preventer were not leaking, BP would have released video of them. BP’s oil salvage activity at the end of the pipe has been a total science fiasco and is a diversion of attention from the main leaks at the preventer and wellhead.

      Secretive, arrogant and powerful BP refuses to release the videos of the total wellhead damage and President Obama is complicit in the cover-up.

      We have the right to see the total damage and leakage so scientist and engineers can truly evaluate the situation.

      President Obama you have not taken control of the spill, you have allowed secret BP to call the shoots from the beginning to the present. The “best scientific minds in the world” came up with one good Idea to stop the flow according to Mr. Hayward but he will not tell the public what the idea is and is continuing on BP’s present course of failure. BP has their secret program and has not taken positive action with known Marine Pile Driving Technology to stop the oil flow permanently. Furthermore, you have failed to take charge by not stepping in to control BP’s operations with a STOP THE Oil FLOW TASK FORCE of FBI, Corps of Army Engineers, scientist and private marine construction contractors to begin taking positive action to stop the oil flow permanently. Three months from now (hurricane season) the ecological and economic burden will be so great that the United States of America will be catastrophically bankrupt.

      This is right out of Big Oils company playbook: secrecy, stall for time, public relations, litigation protection, maintaining image and owned puppet Congress members to do their bidding.

      BP took home $93 million per day in profits—for a total of $6.1 billion—during the first quarter alone. The approximate $3.5 million in damage claims paid out so far by BP are significantly less than CEO Tony Hayward’s 2009 compensation, estimated at over $4,700,000 by Forbes. Senators in Congress are trying to limit BP’s liability and as proof of BP’s prior oil spill conduct in paying liability; look at the Exxon Valdez ongoing 16 year financial litigation fight!

      Senator Murkowski, in true reality, by limiting liability for Big Oil, are you and the rest of the members of Congress “ready” for the horrendous backlash coming your way from the American People?

      Call your representatives in Congress and demand that the BP videos of the total damage that show the leaks at the well head, preventer and pipe string be released today! We need to stop the oil flow permanently today!
      http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_informationhttp://clerk.house.gov/member_info/mcapdir.html

    77. Steve, Alexandria VA says:

      We are discussing it here as if we know any facts. With oil drilling such a politically charged topic, and the media practically controlled by socialists in government, why should we beleive anything we hear or read? Who knows what the facts really are?

      Summer will bring back higher gas prices, as it always does, with increased demand for gasoline. Soon gas will be over four dollars a gallon again. Between that and this perfectly timed oil spill, look for a move to nationalize the oil industry.

    78. Cindy, NC says:

      This spill was gushing while Obama was busy pointing fingers at Gov. Jan Brewer. He waited 12 days before he sent a bunch of lawyers and bureaucrats down there to LA. No one to clean up or help the situation, just slip and fall lawyers. Government ineptitude and failure on display when protecting the border, on the spill in the gulf and the flood in Nashville. Nothing but blaming and gaming the situations to help Obama politically. I have never seen a more impotent leader.

    79. Rich in Illinois says:

      This is a prime example of whenever government wants to grab a bunch of freedom or expand government with new bureaucratic agencies, up pops just such an event to illicit the public outcry warranting the federal take over.

      And how blessed are the socialists in government that the lord would see fit to give them the impetus to greatly expand one of their most favorite liberty quashing vehicles, Environmentalism.

      Come on folks no president is that lucky, when all else is failing? Maybe he'll be on the deck of an aircraft carrier next, with a big sign behind him reading "Mission Accomplished"!

      When the lie is big enough, no one will doubt it.

    80. j cooper, Marietta, says:

      Let's imagine a scenario that has Obama endorsing offshore drilling to get favorable opinions from the general public. Then he sends an eight-man team of special ops mercenaries and they sabotage the oil rig so that there is an explosion. People die or are injured on the rig. We get a giant oil spill and Obama says that he feels we should not drill offshore any more. He is in a win-win situation in that he tried to go along with offshore drilling, but then had to reverse his statement. He can say that he did his best, but those incompetent oil companies caused this disaster. It really sounds paranoid, doesn't it? Surely Obama's people are not capable of such dishonesty. Want to bet?

    81. Earl, QUEENS, NY says:

      Of course we should all know by now that that is BHO's favorite pastime – passing blame when things are wrong, and taking credit for good things (if they even exist – I.e. the 'economic recovery’ which doesn't exist!!) We hear it all the time – Obama whines about what he inherited – blaming Bush/Cheney, never mind that Bush has been out of office for some 16 months!!…..If you ask me, BHO was to blame for this ill economy even before the disastrous 11/4/2008 election. By that, I mean the recession may have begun on Bush's watch. But in the fall, it got worse, as polls showed BHO had a lead over McCain. Many businesses and investors knew that BHO would be elected, and that his policies (runaway deficit spending, Cap&trade, national health care, etc.) would be a disaster. Thus confidence was low. IMO, Obama should learn to accept responsibility for his detrimental policies!!

    82. Matt Erkert, The Lan says:

      I will reserve judgement until I have examined all the evidence. However, B.P. didn't want to see all those profits floating on the surface of the gulf, nor have the expenditure of the clean up. I wonder if the Marxists in the media could have caused this disaster in order to sell papers, or advertizing on CNN. Or maybe it was some Alynski trained thugs from Chicago.

    83. Ted Stein, President says:

      Of all the economics/political blogs I read, Heritage commentors are the most idealogically biased and, regretably, least informed. Aside from the hypocracy of wanting less government while criticizing lax enforcement, your readers don't take the time to research the facts.

      In a world designed by Heritage, BP would not only have taken short cuts during the capping off process, which they did, but would not have participated in any regulations that cost money or time. Besides, no one is regulating them, as you've pointed out. They made some horrific decisions that cost them not only time and money, but also lives. Time will tell whether it will cost the stakeholders their company.

      I am a capitalist of the highest order. Sometimes moral decisions are bad economic decisions. Sometimes they cost money and EPS. Leadership doesn't take calculated risks when human lives are involved.

    84. M Party, Florida says:

      >>> But as CBS News‘ Chip Reid points out: “Mr. Obama’s been president for nearly 16 months.Does he get at least a little piece of the blame?

      He gets it if there is a second spill under his administration.

      Teapartybell.com features this as one of the top ten articles under Oil Spill category

    85. Jeanne Stotler, wood says:

      smething smells in both D.C.and the Gulf, the timing couldn't have been better for the eco minded bunch, who have fought oil drilling for a long time. There is a risk with any job, some saller than others but neverthe less there is a risk. the big question is where were all the safety measures when needed?? 2nd Why did it take so long for anything to be started, I know it's 1 mile down, but then the Titanic is down about 6-7 miles and they used Robot subs ti film the interior and bring up artifact, thwere should have been booms near by, Why wasn't this caught on inspection. I worked night as a nurse in Nursing hOmes and Inspectors made sure we had working fire extingushers, a fire escape plan and did fire drills on every shift, no less should be required on these oil rigs. I have heard some say that they wondered why it wasn't looked into that the rig might have been sabotaged, whatever a lot of people are going to pay for this and a full investigation should be down (not by the feds) It should have started day 1, By the way Why did it take BHO 9 days to act??

    86. walt glen gardner, n says:

      A few of the commentors suspect a conspiracy to cripple the energy, especially the oil industry. I agree; and, I suggest all inspectors, employees, and crew on the supply ship be questioned and/or investigated

    87. John A. Stephens says:

      Why did the federal Minerals Management Service give permission to BP to displace the mud? Doesn't that make the federal government responsible for the blowout?

    88. Pete G says:

      Peyton Reed, Irvine, CA

      Mr. Reed, I see you are an expert on oil production and Nuclear power!

      Actually Mr. Reed what do you do? How do you pay your bills? Are you a government employee? I suspect so or you would be extremely concerned about how we are going to pay the light bill when wackos like you and Mr. Illegal Alain President get through destroying our infrastructure. The morons and Idiots on the take for government money for a living are now in charge. Less than 60% of now work for our income to pay for useless government agents and welfare.

      Sir I'm an engineer having worked on Nuclear power Subs and Carriers for years.

      Nuclear power is the cleanest safest source of energy in the world. I'm no expert in the oil field industry but I grew up in and around it and I'll bet you know about the subject is infinitesimally small in comparison to my very limited knowledge abut it. And I say with your mentality your part of the problem!

      Has France ever had a problem with it's nuclear power? They derive a higher percent of their national power than any other country.

      Have we had any national disasters with Nuclear power. No we had a scare at Three Mile Island blown way way out of proportion by wackos like you and we lost one nuclear powered submarine in the sixty's that no one had definitively proven was caused by a nuclear power problem. We do know it went below crush depth but we do not know why.

      So what do you do that gives you such a knowledgeable insight to the two industries?

      I personally would love to see nuclear power, wind power, hydro power, geothermal power, solar power replace all the oil and coal powered grid services.

      Use the oil for plastics and other uses we have need of instead of just destroying it in furnaces.

      If the truth be known if Mr. Obamanation would put just a pinch of the money he is wasting on setting up his world government into space technologies we could be mining the huge amounts of Helium 3 on the moon to power this world for the next 10,000 years. Cheap and clean!

      Of course you never heard of this did you.

      Big government and especially Mr. Obamanation and people with your mentality are a threat to the human race. WAKE UP!

    89. Gregory Kasper, West says:

      It's hard to figure out fact and fiction today.

      What I understand is that Pres Bush was to provide 8 Emergency oil-boom ships in case of spills or leakages.

      The Democrat Congress voted "NO!" for his funding request.

      Obama and E.P.A. Official Salazar did not provide contractual funding to build these ships and get them into service ASAP.

      We had only 1 ship available.

      The oil leakage could have been contained and burned off in a contolled fashion until BP had the leakage back under control.

      There would have been no issue regarding enviromental damage.

      And, what happened to all of the oil pollutions that occured because of WW II Naval Battles?.

    90. Un-Sheepled Va. uSA says:

      Just another false flag !

      Problem, Reaction and the Solution all by the same people.

      "Think of the press(media) as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”

      Joseph Goebbels

    91. Bob Campbell says:

      I am glad I am not a conspiracy theorist but it is unbelievable what a lucky break this explosion was for BO. It allowed BO to avoid being exposed for lying about his promise to promote off shore drilling.

      Wake up America 2010

    92. ronald virginia says:

      Subject: bp oil spill in the gulf

      HOW DO WE CLEAN UP THE OIL,IF SOMEONE HAS A GOOD IDEA TO CLEAN UP THE OIL WHY NOT USE THAT IDEA.SO MUCH OIL IN THE GULF WITH LITTLE HOPE OF THE OIL BEING STOP BY AUG.DO NOT START DRILLING IN THE GULF,BP DO NOT DRILL IN THE USA.EPA/OSHA/FED GOV/LOCAL GOV/COAST GUARD/WHO IS IN CHARGE OF AIR QUALITY IN THE GULF,WHO IS IN CHARGE OF MAKING SURE PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT GEAR ON FOR CLEAN UP OIL IN THE GULF,WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THE WHOLE CLEAN UP,WHY THE LOCAL GOV IS ON T.V.AND NOT MAKING SURE THAT THE OIL IS BEING CLEANED UP IN THE GULF.WHY THE COAST GUARD NOT CALL LOCAL GOV OIL IS COMING TO THE SHORE.WHY GOP WANT TO KEEP DRILLING AND WE CANNOT STOP THE OIL IN THE GULF,SOMETHING VERY WRONG WITH SOME PEOPLE IN THE GULF….. WHY THE PRESIDENT IS NOT IN THE GULF TO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING BEING DONE FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE GULF.WHY THE PEOPLE IN THE GULF LOOSING SO MUCH MONEY AND BP NOT PAYING ON TIME,WHY SOME PEOPLE GETTING SICK,WHY THE PRESIDENT IS NOT MAKING BP PAY THE PEOPLE,WHY EPA-OSHA-NOT CK WHY SOME PEOPLE WORKING WITH OIL ARE SICK …………………………..VERY SAD THAT PEOPLE IN THE GULF LITTLE HOPE,THE FED GOV VERY POOR JOB/LOCAL GOV VERY POOR JOB/COAST GUARD VERY POOR JOB.THE PRESIDENT VERY POOR JOB.gop very poor job.bp veryverypoor job

      RONALD GOCHENOUR

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