Charles Krauthammer asks rhetorically: Whose blowout is it, anyway?
Here's my question: Why are we drilling in 5,000 feet of water in the first place?
Many reasons, but this one goes unmentioned: Environmental chic has driven us out there. As production from the shallower Gulf of Mexico wells declines, we go deep (1,000 feet and more) and ultra deep (5,000 feet and more), in part because environmentalists have succeeded in rendering the Pacific and nearly all the Atlantic coast off-limits to oil production. (President Obama's tentative, selective opening of some Atlantic and offshore Alaska sites is now dead.) And of course, in the safest of all places, on land, we've had a 30-year ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Krauthammer is zeroing in on what will be the main topic, front and center, when this disaster has ended (which may be August according this report). Why do politicians in Washington subject their constituents to greater hazard in the name of environmental activism? That may become a campaign slogan come August. (Sara Palin is already pushing it.) Democrats are slowly waking up to this reality, which is why Massachusetts uber Liberal Congressman Ed Markey was out on CBS today accusing BP of underestimating the initial reports of how much oil has polluted the Gulf.
(CBS) Rep. Bob (sic) Markey, D-Mass., said today that BP knew the initial estimates of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico from the site of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig were larger than what they were publicly stating was the flow.
In his appearance on CBS' "Face The Nation" Sunday, Markey said that once video of the oil leak became public, independent scientists confirmed that the flow was much higher than the initial estimates made public by the company.
The Democrat, who is chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, said that the amount of oil flowing is tied to any fee that may be imposed on the oil company resulting from the spill.
"BP has a stake in their own liability here," Market said. "That means that the fine which can be imposed upon them is dependent upon how many barrels per day is going out into the Gulf. If it's 1,000 barrels per day, it's a relatively low fine, but if it's 10,000, 15,000, 20,000 barrels per day, it could wind up billions of dollars in fines that BP executives have to pay to the federal government."
Allow me to decode what Congressman Markey is saying: "If we had known the spill was this bad in the beginning President Obama would not have been playing golf during the emergency".
The Democrats are furiously trying to reset and rearrange facts to better portray their President's stunningly poor performance to date because they know there will be political hell to pay when the BP well is capped and the cleanup bill (not just the financial bill but also the ever more important one for political damage) arrives. Markey can and will demagogue about civil and criminal liability on the part of BP, but make no mistake, his real goal is to protect President Obama. Look for more Markey type performances in the future as the Obama administration tries to mitigate the damage of their feeble response to this disaster.
Note: Markey link just added.