Transcript available here.
This week the President made his third trip to the Louisiana coast in lieu of a trip to Australia and Indonesia, to check on the
lack of progress of BP’s next move on capping the oil pipe as well as the lack of confidence in the administration’s ability to bring BP to heal. Though the President appeared to put too much confidence in BP’s abilities and intentions, I do have to say during the “drill baby drill” spasm of the 2008 election, many people of all stripes had no problems with deep sea oil drilling as long as the money was coming in and there were no new taxes at the gas pump. In other words, let’s spread the lack of skepticism and critical assessment of BP’s and similar companies enterprises around. When profits are involved, everyone’s got a stake in anything. Check this out from the editorial staff of the Times-Picayune.
We’re already reeling from the loss of thousands of fishing industry jobs. We now could see an estimated 20,000 oil-services jobs vanish due to your six-month federal moratorium on deepwater exploratory drilling. That could do even greater damage to the economy than the well-chronicled fishing industry losses.
The next showdown: fishermen vs oilmen. Harks back to the cattle and sheep feuds of the old days or a new cast of characters for the WWF.
Personally, I’m more interested in how fast and effectively BP can be in putting a tight cap on this oil spill and how swiftly justice will be served for the damages. Last on my list is whether the President will snap or bust a cap over it. There’s no need for the President of the United States to have a “Do the Right Thing” moment and “Go Off!” per the new’s media’s Spike Lee sound byte of the day [Lee says much more in his interview with Anderson Cooper]. While the press is anxiously waiting for the close up of the “angry black man moment,” filmmaker James Cameron’s remarks merit some serious consideration:
Sure, thev’ve got lot of cameras down there, but do we want BP choosing where they’re pointed? It’s easy to coordinate multiple cameras on the seabed. It’s nothing more dire than combat. Reporters and the media are allowed in combat situations. Why not when a foreign corporation working in the U.S. economic zone has created the biggest hit to the environment ever and a huge hit to the economy of the southern states?
At least Cameron has developed robotic technology for deep water filming. There’s no need to brush him off as just another egotistical Hollywood director.
Here’s what the President is offering in his Weekly Address:
… I’ve authorized the deployment of 17,500 National Guard troops to aid in the response. More than 20,000 people are currently working around the clock to protect waters and coastlines. We’ve convened hundreds of top scientists and engineers from around the world. More than 1,900 vessels are in the Gulf assisting in the clean up. More than 4.3 million feet of boom have been deployed with another 2.9 million feet of boom available – enough to stretch over 1,300 miles. And 17 staging areas are in place across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida to rapidly defend sensitive shorelines. In short, this is the largest response to an environmental disaster of this kind in the history of our country.
We’ve also ordered BP to pay economic injury claims, and we will make sure they pay every single dime owed to the people along the Gulf Coast. The Small Business Administration has stepped in to help businesses by approving loans and allowing deferrals of existing loan payments. And this week, the federal government sent BP a preliminary bill for $69 million to pay back American taxpayers for some of the costs of the response so far. In addition, after an emergency safety review, we’re putting in place aggressive new operating standards for offshore drilling. And I’ve appointed a bipartisan commission to look into the causes of this spill. If laws are inadequate –laws will be changed. If oversight was lacking – it will be strengthened. And if laws were broken – those responsible will be brought to justice.
At this point, the solution requires all hands on deck. Whoever comes up with the winning fix will be “King of the World.”