Oil Messed Up

Anger grows along the Gulf Coast at the Obama administration’s pathetic response to the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

Winston Groom
The Weekly Standard
Vol. 15, No. 40

Point Clear, Alabama

The most breathtaking irony in the whole sorry oil spill saga is that the Obama administration has selected BP—which it continues to demonize as reckless, greedy, and incompetent—as the principal entity to contain and clean up this vast and dangerous mess.

The millions affected by the ongoing fiasco watch in dismay and outrage as they weigh the possibility that their way of life may be changed for a long time, if not forever. I am among them. Fishing and boating waters are closed. Swimming warning flags are flying. Orange containment booms line the shores, and the news is filled with pictures of dying birds. I have not seen the oil yet, but I have smelled it from a dozen miles away. It is not a pleasant smell. If it gets into the deltas and the marshes and streams that are nurseries for the marine life here on the coast, it could become a great tragedy. Which is all the more reason for anger and frustration at the monumental incompetence of the attempt to contain this greatest of oil spills in U.S. history.

It has been apparent from the outset that the Obama administration had no wish to be responsible for fixing this problem without having some sort of “plausible deniability.” They saw what happened to George W. Bush with New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina and wanted no part of that kind of trap. Instead, the White House embarked on a program of finger-pointing, bad-mouthing, scolding, and threats. Reckless, greedy, and incompetent as BP may be, this only made the company’s task considerably harder to perform—especially with the government’s much publicized “boot on their throat.”…

…People here have become cynical. There have been suggestions that Obama wants to use the oil spill as a “teachable moment” in his effort to pass his cap and trade energy legislation. And there are even darker intimations, the suspicion that something else must be afoot. If the spill had occurred in Long Island Sound, say, or San Francisco Bay—or in Nantucket Sound with oil lapping at the beaches of Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard—would there be this indolent a response from Washington?…

Read the entire article at The Weekly Standard

H/T Instapundit

Winston Groom is the author of numerous novels and histories, including Forrest Gump (1986). His most recent book is Vicksburg, 1863 (Alfred A. Knopf).

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