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Posts Tagged ‘environment’

White House “misrepresentations” on the oil spill

October 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Lies:

The Obama administration blocked efforts by government scientists to tell the public just how bad the Gulf oil spill could become and committed other missteps that raised questions about its competence and candor during the crisis, according to a commission appointed by the president to investigate the disaster.

In documents released Wednesday, the national oil spill commission’s staff describes “not an incidental public relations problem” by the White House in the wake of the April 20 accident.

Among other things, the report says, the administration made erroneous early estimates of the spill’s size, and President Barack Obama’s senior energy adviser went on national TV and mischaracterized a government analysis by saying it showed most of the oil was “gone.” The analysis actually said it could still be there.

“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,” the report says.

I thought only Presidents who were old, white Republicans from the South used their government power for political gains and cover-ups.

There’s more:

Citing interviews with government officials, the report reveals that in late April or early May, the White House budget office denied a request from NOAA to make public its worst-case estimate of how much oil could spew from the blown-out well. The Unified Command — the government team in charge of the spill response — also was discussing the possibility of making the numbers public, the report says.

The report shows “the political process was in charge and science really does not have the role that was touted,” said Christopher D’Elia, dean of environmental studies at Louisiana State University.

[…]

From the beginning, there was “a contradiction between discoveries and concerns by academic scientists and statements by NOAA,” MacDonald said in an interview with the AP at the oil spill conference.

And he said it is still going on. MacDonald and Georgia Tech scientist Joseph Montoya said NOAA is at it again with statements saying there is no oil in ocean floor sediments. A University of Georgia science cruise, which Montoya was on, found ample evidence of oil on the Gulf floor.

Hey, I thought Democrats were all about science, and that it was the ignorant Republicans who would jettison science for political gains and what-not.  Fancy that.

And what do you call it when the government purposely pushes for the suppression of scientific information related to an environmental disaster affecting the lives of thousands of Americans?

An environmental disaster is not something to get political over.  The handling of that disaster or rather, the mishandling of that disaster, by political buffoons for the sake of political expediency is another matter.

The 2012 campaign ads are starting to write themselves.

What to do about this friggin’ oil spill?

May 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Nobody seems to know:

Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given.

“There’s a shocking amount of oil in the deep water, relative to what you see in the surface water,” said Samantha Joye, a researcher at the University of Georgia who is involved in one of the first scientific missions to gather details about what is happening in the gulf. “There’s a tremendous amount of oil in multiple layers, three or four or five layers deep in the water column.”

The plumes are depleting the oxygen dissolved in the gulf, worrying scientists, who fear that the oxygen level could eventually fall so low as to kill off much of the sea life near the plumes.

Just when you thought you heard the worst, the news just gets more grim.

POTUS: Drill Baby, Drill

March 31, 2010 Leave a comment

Obama opens up to offshore drilling:

The Obama administration is proposing to open vast expanses of water along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling, much of it for the first time, officials said Tuesday.

Under the plan, the coastline from New Jersey northward would remain closed to all oil and gas activity. So would the Pacific Coast, from Mexico to the Canadian border.

The proposal — a compromise that will please oil companies and domestic drilling advocates but anger some residents of affected states and many environmental organizations — would end a longstanding moratorium on oil exploration along the East Coast from the northern tip of Delaware to the central coast of Florida, covering 167 million acres of ocean.

Yet another flip-flop by the President, but at this point nobody in the media or the Obama sycophants in the blogosphere appear too concerned about that.  Obama is a “D” after all. 

But I’m a bit more cynical than that.

Chris Bowers:

This is, effectively, home state pork for Conservadem Senators who are viewed as winnable votes on the energy bill. Five of the original fifteen Conservadems are listed above (Webb and Graham are not Conservadems). Of course, since the new offshore drilling policy will operate through the executive branch, there is no guarantee at all that the Obama administration will actually get an energy bill out of this deal. Nonetheless, and leaving aside the political efficacy of this ploy, it is clearly a political move designed to make a bill more viable.

This makes sense.  I think the White House has cap-and-trade next on the agenda.  Winning the healthcare fight was huge, but I don’t think Obama wants another long and drawn out battle like that again–especially as we get closer to the midterms.  Today’s announcement seems to be made to win over the moderates in the party for the energy bill in the Senate.

Like healthcare reform not being about healthcare, this proposal is not about energy but about getting votes.

And one more thing—it seems Sarah Palin was right.