Sunday, July 04, 2010


More on the Painfully Slow Gulf "Cleanup"

On Yahoo, the Wall Street Journal examines why the Gulf "clean up" is so slow. I put "clean up" in quotes because clean up implies the mess is getting smaller. That's not really so. It seems to be spreading faster than it's being cleaned up.
As the government fails to implement such simple and straightforward remedies, one must ask why.

One possibility is sheer incompetence. Many critics of the president are fond of pointing out that he had no administrative or executive experience before taking office. But the government is full of competent people, and the military and Coast Guard can accomplish an assigned mission. In any case, several remedies require nothing more than getting out of the way.

Another possibility is that the administration places a higher priority on interests other than the fate of the Gulf, such as placating organized labor, which vigorously defends the Jones Act.

Finally there is the most pessimistic explanation—that the oil spill may be viewed as an opportunity, the way White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said back in February 2009, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." Many administration supporters are opposed to offshore oil drilling and are already employing the spill as a tool for achieving other goals. The websites of the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, for example, all feature the oil spill as an argument for forbidding any further offshore drilling or for any use of fossil fuels at all. None mention the Jones Act.

To these organizations and perhaps to some in the administration, the oil spill may be a strategic justification in a larger battle. President Obama has already tried to severely limit drilling in the Gulf, using his Oval Office address on June 16 to demand that we "embrace a clean energy future." In the meantime, how about a cleaner Gulf?
Of course, the left and Dems will claim, as the oil continues to spew and spread, this is just an attempt to discredit Obama and other Dems.

Hat tip Instapundit.

Imagine this if Bush were President.
We'd never hear the end of it.
Somewhere, there is a systemic failure that is keeping our country from adequately and effectively responding to crises. This failure knows no party.

This has almost universally been the case since the end of Gulf War I in 1991.
a systemic failure

I think it's simply government bureaucracy. When I got my first job out of college in 1976 with the Tennessee Department of Corrections, I quickly found out that all that matters is paperwork and following procedure.

If you had all the paperwork completed and followed procedure, you were untouchable as far as firing or disciplinary action. Effectiveness was inconsequential. The red tape can be phenomenal but protocol and procedure must be followed. Enough of these people don't care about doing a good job that they're simply 9-5ers collecting a pay check but can't be fired because they follow procedure and do the paperwork.

It's easy to see that this problem plays a huge role in our crises management. And, then you have all the politics involved, keeping special groups happy (unions or whomever) etc.
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