Monday, May 24, 2010

Show me the bootprint

I know I'm usually about two degrees away from being a total Obamabot, but he's losing me on his handling of the gusher in the Gulf. And no, I don't mean because he's not doing enough to plug the leak. I don't think he or his administration can do more about it short of taking over the operation themselves and that would leave the taxpayer paying the costs instead of BP. What's bugging me is that Obama is enabling BP's cover up and PR efforts to minimize the scope this disaster.

We have law enforcement from the Coast Guard to the local sheriffs barring on site media access to public lands, "because BP says so." MoJo's Mac McClelland reports workers aren't being allowed to speak to the press and BP is lying to them about what they're dealing with, telling them it's just "red tide, dishwashing-liquid runoff, or mud." These workers are already becoming seriously ill and will probably suffer permanent adverse health effects.

InteriorSec Salazar says he's frustrated that BP isn't meeting its deadlines. His director of the U.S. Geological Survey says "We want to stop polluting the ocean, and we want to kill this well." All well and good, but it increasingly appears BP is more interesting in saving the oil than capping the gusher.

Echoing Obama, Salazar promises "to keep our boot on the neck" of BP but I'm not seeing the bootprint. The general public doesn't appear to be grasping how serious a disaster this is or there would be more outrage. This would be a good time for Obama to use his rhetorical gift to build public pressure that would force BP to own this mess and explain why it's taking so long to fix it.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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