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  • Morning Bell: Was Obama's Oil Spill Response 'Not Fully Competent' or 'Not Fully Candid'?

    On August 4, Carol Browner, director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and Fox News morning shows to declare Mission Accomplished on handling the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. Specifically, she told the Today show: “I think it’s also important to note that our scientists have done an initial assessment and more than three-quarters of the oil is gone, the vast majority of the oil is gone.” Now it appears that Browner spoke too soon and, even worse, suppressed criticism of the Obama administration’s assessment of the spill.

    When scientists from the University of South Florida (USF) had the audacity to question the Obama administration’s “science,” the White House pushed back hard. William Hogarth, dean of marine sciences at USF, told the St. Petersburg Times that administration officials pressured him to retract USF’s public announcement, and he compared it to being “beat up” by federal officials. University of Southern Mississippi oceanographer Vernon Asper also drew Obama administration ire: “We expected that NOAA would be very pleased. NOAA instead responded by trying to discredit us.”

    Yesterday, the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling issued four preliminary working papers on the Obama administration’s response to the oil spill. Their paper titled The Amount and Fate of the Oil reads:

    By initially underestimating the amount of oil flow and then, at the end of the summer, appearing to underestimate the amount of oil remaining in the Gulf, the federal government created the impression that it was either not fully competent to handle the spill or not fully candid with the American people about the scope of the problem.

    President Barack Obama’s failures of either competence or candidness regarding the size of the oil spill are just the beginning of his administration’s botched disaster response. From the beginning there was a complete lack of coordination between local governments, BP, the federal government, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard, not to mention the refusal to allow expertise and resources from foreign parties until months into the spill. Then there was the overzealous enforcement of labor and environmental regulations that slowed clean up and recovery.

    Instead of rolling up his sleeves and fighting the disaster head on, President Obama used the disaster for political gain to push his existing environmental agenda. He used the spill to push his stalled energy tax bill in the Senate and then instituted an all out ban on deep water oil development. Then when a federal judge threw out his original ban because it was “arbitrary and capricious,” President Obama doubled-down expanding the ban even wider.

    A recent poll by the Pew Research Center found that nearly six in ten, or 57 percent, say the country is not better prepared for another disaster. They are right. But there are steps Congress can take to better prepare our nation for future spills. First, federal response efforts must be synchronized. Responses to “Spills of National Significance” should be managed under the National Response Framework. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 should be amended to make oil spill responses consistent with the Robert T. Stafford Act’s intergovernmental approach. Second, bolster the resources of the U.S. Coast Guard—including the National Strike Team assets that respond to spills, the service’s ship and aviation fleet, and the size and training of the Coast Guard reserve, which were tasked to support operations. Finally, we must reform our oil spill liability framework so that all parties are properly incentivized to minimize the possibility and danger of future incidents.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    48 Responses to Morning Bell: Was Obama's Oil Spill Response 'Not Fully Competent' or 'Not Fully Candid'?

    1. Ricardo, Pennsylvani says:

      We are watching our freedoms and our way of life slip away at the direction of those who want it that way. It's 26 days until the November Mid-term Election, and it's time to restore freedom, independence, and to vote the destroyers of freedom out of office.

    2. Seacop says:

      I have it from the most reliable of sources that the Administration and Ms. Lee were instrumental in making sure the response did not go well.

    3. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      Circle of HATE

      Murdoch, WSJ, FOX, Rush, Chamber of Commerce,

      Heritage Foundation, Karl Rove, Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly,

      Coulter,

      LV Review Journal,

      Koch Bros.

      Newt

      Who else should I add?

      If YOU want on the list let me know

      LVKen7@Gmail.com

    4. Sue Marie, Detroit says:

      I am sick and tired of children with ego problems running this country. I want adults who access the situation and call in those who have the greatest knowledge and experience to help solve the problems and get the job done as effeciently as possible and keep their employers (the tax payers) informed. Reagan is so right when he said "How many things can be accomplished if no one cared about who gets the credit" I may have missquoted him. We have too many disfunction beings running this country.

    5. Sal G says:

      Again, articles expressing so much surprise. What do you expect from a freedom hating, muslim president who can't even produce a birth certificate?

      No surprise here!

    6. Clarence J. Angelett says:

      This is one more example of the Obama's administration using a disaster to further his agenda instead of showing competance in dealing with the event to help the people of the Gulf of Mexico. The moratorium is stupid. It is crippling our ability to be energy independent and destroying the oil industry in the Gulf. Why does the government not close down all rail roads when accidents take place on freight or passenger trains? Why does the government not close down the air traffic when there are accidents in air traffic? Why does the government not close down elections when there are fraudulent elections? etc., etc.

    7. Sue Marie, Detroit says:

      I am sick and tired of children with ego problems running this country. I want adults who can correctly access the situation and seek advice from those with the most knowledge and experience on solving what ever problem arrives. I am convinced the dysfunctional are attracted to politics. They cannot run their own lives but want to run ever one elses. Obama was no help or problem solver in the oil spill crises in fact he made it worse. Shutting down the the golf is part of his plan to make the U.S. a third world country.

    8. ThomNJ says:

      With this guy he is certainly not fully competent – and since he IS the Liar in Chief, it follows that he is most certainly not candid as well. The answer to your intitial question: BOTH.

    9. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      It's hard to understand that HF still don't understand that Obama not only used the BP spill to futher his agenda for the destruction of our economical system by stopping offshore drilling, but he delibertly used the USCG and other federal agencies as pawns to spread damage to the Gulf Coast. The only "step" that will help is to get Obama and Congress out of office.

    10. Norm Klevens says:

      It is hoped that the Obama administration devises such a plan. It is hoped that some day soon Obama lifts the ban. Thirdly I hope the citizens who live in the gulf area, including many put out of work due to Obama's hand, vote against the democrat party next month and in two years. They intentionally denied the assistance noted in this article and for political gain. Overall we need an energy policy that makes oil as important, at this time, that is equal to that amount of oil that we consume. We all observed the amount of oil in one hole in the gulf; its ours for the taking. But instead the leaders, that we elect, let a small group of Agore wackos deny us, our own resource. We need nuclear plants, like they are doing in France and Germany and for example, more than the umpteenth community college some democrat congressman in Chula Vista CA is pushing for and criticizing his opponent for saying we need a nuclear plant.. And a policy is needed that provides real untaxed incentives to develop and refine alternative energy that would be operable in the long term future. But instead, what do we get from Obama – politics as usual. Vote him and his party out of power and stop the environmental wackos from forcing us to pay more for energy that we should.

    11. Jeanne Stotler, Wood says:

      This goes along with what Bob Woodward and David Lumbaugh said in their books, You either go along with what we say or we will beat you up, Chicago Bully methods. He does the same with his so called jobs he's created and most of all with the money he's spending. How do you know BHO's lying?? His mouth is open, this is far the worse President ever. Nov is just around the corner, give someone a ride when you go to vote. Jan new congress and lets hope for impeachment and criminal charges. These so called csars are being paid with taxpayers money, let's reward them with free room and board in a Federal prison.

    12. Betty, Lafayette Ind says:

      This is how we know government is far to large. A man's ear hearing one voice is sure about what is heard. A man's ear hearing two voices is forced to think about what was heard. A man hearing more than three voices place all in danger. Wisdom has no equalizer but truth. Governments are not infinite. "Time" will equalize the ear when truth fails to find the ear. That time is now.

    13. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      I visited with friends who live in the French Quarter last weekend and asked about the Gulf Coast and the effects the ban on drilling has on their economy. My friend works for Hornbeck Offshore and can speak diretly to the impact. The ban is and will be devastating. When the oil rigs leave they will not come back and they will soon depart if the ban is not lifted, There are a significant number of people who work on the oil rigs AND operate shrimp boats. When not on the rigs they shrimp. Because of the impression of contaminated shrimp their industry is hurting. The good news is that the locals are enjoying really cheap shrimp meals. The bad news is that the rest of the country is ill informed. The report is that Obama and his administration do not understand their policy impact and despite the notion that Obama thinks he is the smartest person in the room. The reality is that he simply does not understand the impact of his agendas. November 2nd can't get here soon enough

    14. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Both. Obama's not fully competent and he's also not fully at fault. BP bears some of

      the responsibility as well. However, Obama's response to it was to cave in to his enviro-Nazi friends, and put an ill-thought, ill-conceived, and illegal, drilling ban into effect, over the objections of the senior professionals at the Interior Department, who

      weren't for it. Why do you think a federal judge struck it down in the first place? Why

      do you think Obama, in contempt of the court, said "we're right and the court's wrong"? Isn't this the same thing that got Richard Nixon impeached for covering up

      Watergate?

    15. Angelmom6 says:

      What comes to my mind is that the administration abused their authority by ordering an ineffective process to clean up the oil just to show their authority and make the scientists and BP look bad, which in effect made them look good, when they used the end results to turn it into a political agenda. Knowing that their method for cleaning up the oil spill and tearing down the oil industry, in this case, BP, undermined the economy and national security. The first steps was abuse of authority, an impeachable offense, the second step was treason by deliberately endangering the welfare of the U.S. also an impeachable offense.

    16. Don Symank, St Louis says:

      I have a condo in Gulf Shores, AL and have watched the events carefully. My take is the errors made were either driven by incompetence or an agenda that I do not understand.

      Why would an administration take the responsibility to pay out claims in the hope that doing so would minimize the lawsuits against BP?

    17. GodsCountry says:

      General Eisenhower, from a Nazi prison, 1950; “I couldn’t go in there, ya know, with a straw and suck up all those Nazis…”

      General Washington, from a British prison, 1776: “I couldn’t, ya know, go in there and suck up all those Redcoats with a straw…”

      General Grant, from a Confederate States prison, 1876; “I couldn’t, ya know, go in there with a straw and suck up all those Rebs…”

      Ronald Reagan, East Berlin, 1999; “Ya know, I couldn’t suck up that big ole wall with a straw…”

    18. Mark Zuelke Fox Rive says:

      General Eisenhower, from a Nazi prison, 1950; “I couldn’t go in there, ya know, with a straw and suck up all those Nazis…”

      General Washington, from a British prison, 1776: “I couldn’t, ya know, go in there and suck up all those Redcoats with a straw…”

      General Grant, from a Confederate States prison, 1876; “I couldn’t, ya know, go in there with a straw and suck up all those Rebs…”

      Ronald Reagan, East Berlin, 1999; “Ya know, I couldn’t suck up that big ole wall with a straw…”

    19. CF Long Beach, Ca. says:

      It's just like everything else about this man, he's absolutely clueless when it comes to being, candid, competent or honest… and I have noticed, more than once, that if someone goes against him, he acts like a petulant child and his government starts throwing their weight around like a bunch of thugs or a bullies!

      This man's ego prevents him from admitting or acknowledging that he WORKS FOR US, is to LISTEN TO US and is to PROTECT US! It's in the American Constitution… the Constitution that he has such disdain for!

    20. Chuckwagonchuckie2u, says:

      Sure it is gone. Pay enough Science Professors and they will profess anything you need. Ditto for this administration. The oil just vanished into thin air,was eaten by bacteria or sank to the bottom.

    21. Mike Hadaway, Rome, says:

      Most Presidents are hard working, multi-tasking sharks. President Obama does not appear to have these attributes, but rather he was hard golfing and multi-vacationing while all this was happening. He is a great campaigner but is not the leader many hoped he would be. This situation graphically points out his major weakness…his lack of leadership skills.

    22. Mark Steven Zuelke F says:

      Great leaders, redux;

      General Eisenhower, from a Nazi prison, 1950; “I couldn’t go in there, ya know, with a straw and suck up all those Nazis…”

      General Washington, from a British prison, 1776: “I couldn’t, ya know, go in there and suck up all those Redcoats with a straw…”

      General Grant, from a Confederate States prison, 1876; “I couldn’t, ya know, go in there with a straw and suck up all those Rebs…”

      Ronald Reagan, East Berlin, 1999; “Ya know, I couldn’t suck up that big ole wall with a straw…”

    23. C. W. Cheek says:

      I would like to beleive that this situation was caused merely by ineptness, or lack of coordination. However, when taken in context with the overall picture of this administrations actions in every segment of the economy, I have to conclude that not only are they aware of what they are doing, but they are doing it deliberately, to further their agenda. Why else would they go against the courts and the thousands of jobs lost to their drill ban, and then lend the Soros backed Brazilian deepwater drilling venture several billions of dollars? We need to connect the dots, and take an honest look at this man that seeks to destry America.

    24. Dennis Georgia says:

      We have so much BS in DC, the truth is impossoble to find. I do not think anyone knows how much oil spewed into the Gulf, as to it all being gone, noone but God knows that answer. The "master" only knows how to respond with more regulations on the oil company's, a stop drilling order and more hot air. I have finally decided if his lips are moving, then BS is flying out of his mouth.

    25. Kimberly Emerson-Spi says:

      Since when has bullying people into silence become okay for anyone in any profession to use against someone else? How totally infantile of the Barack Administration & isn't that illegal somewhere to manipulate the truth? Or is it just okay for brat Obama & his thugs?

    26. Don in CA says:

      BHO knows exactly what he is doing and if you want to understand what is driving him read Dinesh D'Souza's book about Obama. already available on Kindle for $10

    27. ThomNJ says:

      Ken Jarvis – I'd be honored to be on your little "hate" list – LOL!

    28. Bryan Atl says:

      Why do people still think this man cares about this country. All he does is bow to dictators and push big goverment. He wants to sink this country so it will be impossible to respond to a large disaster.

    29. Chip says:

      Ken Jarvis, what rock have you been living under for the last year?

    30. Mike Sheahen, Hickor says:

      Facing and, even more to the point, suffering politicians and their bureaucrats, such as Obama and his accomplices in Congress and elsewhere, who are making evident their dedication to perpetrating and implementing ever more thinly disguised and even defiantly obvious freedom, economy, and even environment destroying money and power grabs, only too much like a bunch of legalized criminals, and yet making recommendations to them which would actually "de-rail" their government dependence promoting, government dependent creating money and power-grabbing "gravy train", is rather like facing such a bunch of crooks, recommending to them that they "de-rail" their money and power-grabbing "gravy train" themselves, and actually expecting them to do so…which always has, does, and will get the same result as talking to a wall, no such action or change.

      In other words, such politicians as Obama, Reid, and Pelosi, and others, and their bureaucrats, are exactly why Thomas Jefferson said "The two enemies of the people are criminals and government; so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so that the second does not become the legalized version of the first".

    31. Rmartin says:

      I have been unable to verify that the BP oil spill did not occur until the rig sank and that the sinking was caused by flooding to extinguish the fire. The flooding , directed perhaps by USCG order, was, in retrospect, illadvised. Better the fire to have burned out perhaps? If the facts are withheld nothing can be learned.

    32. Tom in Kansas City says:

      Don in Ca. hits the nail on the head. This isnt incompetence this is an agenda. D'Souza's book, a book by Bob Uda, "Obama's agenda" have this pegged also. The traitor also covers it in his own book. It has been suggested that the book was ghost written by whom? An anarchist. How much further do you have to look. Thanks Don you are dead on with this jerk.

    33. Bobbie says:

      It was fully both "nots!?" With this administration and their agenda, the qualified people are the least qualified and destructive clones of this administrations examples. Ignorant to honesty, logic and reason to further their cause. And then by the advice of the EPA, poison is dispersed for further crisis'. Lets not forget the 11 lives lost because of the incompetence of government "oversight."

    34. Pingback: Morning Bell: Was Obama's Oil Spill Response 'Not Fully Competent … : PlanetTalk.net - Learn the truth , no more lies

    35. Pingback: Must Know Headlines 10.08.2010 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    36. Lynn Bryant DeSpain says:

      Of course Obama's Administration and himself is found lacking when it comes to the "Oil Spill." When the Exon Val Dez accident occured, Congress passed a Law making the United States Coast Guard responsible for all Oil Spills off the shores of the United States. As Commander in Chief, Obama was from the very first drop in charge. Not B.P.

    37. Linda, Louisiana says:

      The man who was elected President of the United States has no clue how to manage a Barnyard, much less a Nation. Not only is he not capable, but he surrounds himself with those less capable. Even if his cronies are knowledgeable, he would not listen to them, and they certainly would not argue with him. They know how vindictive he is. He is worse than a spoiled brat, and I wish he would pick up his toys and go home – his African Home. Yes, I believe this man has an agenda, and he is checking the items off, one by one. Impeachment is the solution.

    38. Linda, Louisiana says:

      Politics need to be kept out of Disasters. We have people who are put in positions to handle these, and should be allowed to. If they cannot or do not handle it efficiently, then those higher up the ladder can step in, but only in an advisory and coordination position. I am sure that BP has been laughing at this President. Yes, BP paid a price, but they are not hurting, only the people who depend on the oil business for their livelihood. Obama is not hurting either. He is sitting in the WH with a smug look on his face, while people are still hurting because of his inability and bad decisions.

    39. Linda, Louisiana says:

      Are these comments utilized to benefit our Nation? Or, are they merely a means to vent our anger and frustrations? The comments that I read are very good, and I hope are beneficial to someone who can turn this nation around. Please address this issue. With the majority of people with whom I communicate and those whose comments I read, I wonder — who voted for this man to be President.

    40. Pingback: » Daily Dose – October 10, 2010

    41. John Malone says:

      Circle of Stupidity, Ignorance, Braindead, Mindless people- The new democtatic party of Ken Jarvis and Puppets. Must be one of the 45% who do not work or pay taxes. Yes Ken, you have a great future. You are a clown just like the one in the white house. Go back to sleep and wake up later and turn on MSNBC to get your news.

    42. Ace Sez Bishop, Cali says:

      If after Nov elections the Newbies have the majority in Congress I sincerely hope they will 'defund everyone of Odama's agenda items–and if the newbies in the Senate have the majority vote–lets impeach this traiitorous presidnet on total incompententcy and refusal to stand by his oath of office to maintain Constitutional law in his regime—defund all those carzs too-

      Obama has done more harm on his own with his power of 'executive orders' by-passing the checks and bsalances of gov't due process[—just like Clinton did–on the weekends when hardly anyone is paying attention

    43. James Swearingen Hix says:

      What has not been discussed is the Obama admin response prior to the spill. The permit for this rig was approved under this admin. It has been described as deeply flawed. I have read that there were many signs of the impending diaster months prior to the spill. BP told the regulators that the" well was out of control" on several occasions. There also been stories of corruption in the office that regulates these rigs. There needs to be an investigation of the failure of government to prevent this disaster.

    44. Barbara Snyder says:

      I am afraid this country will never recover from all the dirty deals that have been pushed through the Obama macchine. We need to back our conservative values and fight them hand to hand in order to keep our FREEDOM!

    45. Jon Weiss, Radcliff says:

      Nothing this administration has done demonstrates competence so there is little surprise that they have followed that same track on the oil spill. The only thing that Obama has done competently is carry out the left wings continuous attacks on the freedom and sovereignty of this country.

    46. Michael, Vancouver says:

      So the way I read this:

      Obama is at fault for failing to protect the gulf, for putting people in charge, and letting them run.

      But he is also at fault because he attempted to stop a future problem from occurring when it became very clear that oil companies had zero response ability in case of even minor problems in the gulf, that every oil company had the same extremely simplistic response plans and no people, equipment or expertise available to implement those failed plans? Or that one of the largest oil companies was obviously running their company in violation of many rules for the safety of both people and the environment on offshore rigs which resulted in the worst US offshore oil spill.

      Heads he loses, tails he loses. Somehow, its his fault that the regulators that have been co-opted and bought out by the companies they are supposed to regulate and otherwise have been cut to the bone by the previous republican administration in a deliberate attempt to remove safety regulations in almost every protective agency.

      Obama gave a reasonable response in an unreasonable situation. He put people in charge and told them to fix it. When it became clear there were problems, he addressed them.

      Finally, the amount of oil that was leaked and that is still in the sea and surface environment is going to be changing for years to come. This is brand new science being tested in a changing environment. It is asinine to expect any of the estimates to be anything other than wild guesstimates. The gulf sea is simply too large for anything else, unless they hire armies of scientists with highly specialized equipment and boats to test every square meter of Gulf, from top to the bottom, from shore to the hundred mile limit. Somehow, I don't expect any republicans will be willing to fund such a study. Even then, what is the point? What exactly do you plan to do with the information? Create giant sucking machines? The republican party is already full of those.

      This is why the US is so screwed up. The right wing thinks the left is communist slash socialists, while in fact the left leaning politicians in the US are right wing zealots compared to 99% of the rest of the world. The US is being held up by Ultra Right Wing Zealots in the pay and pocket of corporate lobbyists. These right wing zealots will do anything to destroy the democrats, even if it destroys their own country and causes pain for citizens for decades to come.

    47. Carol Everett, MA says:

      Obama's terrible response was hidden by the same liberal media that elected him. He is not worthy of the title of POTUS, he cannot answer a question without TOTUS.

      This is another case of having (D) instead of (R) makes it a pass in MSM.

      The fact that they lied about severity would lead to impeachment if it was GW Bush. I would like to see news without Obama fan club reporting.

    48. Joshua Kinser- Pensa says:

      Great Article!!!! I am a guidebook writer that just traveled across the entire Gulf Coast writing a book. This article captured the concerns and opinions of nearly every citizen impacted by this oil spill without political spin. Keep telling it like it is Conn Carroll. Way to go!!!

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