Crisis On The Gulf Coast: Day 56 – Excerpts & Criticisms of Obama’s Oval Office Speech

The Presidents words are “bolded”, the comments and criticisms are not.  

On April 20th, an explosion ripped through BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, about forty miles off the coast of Louisiana. Eleven workers lost their lives. Seventeen others were injured. And soon, nearly a mile beneath the surface of the ocean, oil began spewing into the water.

The underwater spill actually began two days after the “explosion or fire” and after the “Rig” sank into the sea.  Why did the President not simply say as much – to avoid discussing why the rig sank? We don’t know if the rig sank because of fire or structural damage related to an “explosion or fire” of if the rig sank because of negligence in fighting the fire. It has been suggested that the “Rig” sank because the 4 “legs” of the rig were filled with water as a result of the firefighting. So who owned the 5 boats used to fight the fire? BP? Transocean Ltd. , the company that owned and operated the rig and was drilling the well, or the U.S. Coast Guard?  It has also been reported that the EPA prohibited the use of a chemical fire fighting agent, Purple K, that may have allowed those fighting the fire to extinguish or control the fire without sinking the rig. Had the “rig” not sank, there may be no “spill” now. Later we will review the topic of regulation, but for the moment I’ll note that the President has not suggested a need to review the actions of the Coast Guard or EPA and whether additional regulation of those entities is being considered.   

That is why just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation’s best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge – a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation’s Secretary of Energy. Scientists at our national labs and experts from academia and other oil companies have also provided ideas and advice.

Mr. President it took you 9 days to even mention the crisis. Do you expect me to believe that you “assembled a team” prior to even mentioning the event.

Who exactly, are the other team members? So Dr. Chu is the “Capitan”, but who are the team members and when were they added to the team?

Steven Chu (born February 28, 1948)[3] is an American physicist and currently the 12th United States Secretary of Energy. Working at Bell Labs and Stanford University, Chu is known for his research in cooling and trapping of atoms with laser light, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997.[3] At the time of his appointment as Energy Secretary, he was a professor of physics and molecular and cellular biology at the University of California, Berkeley and the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where his research was concerned primarily with the study of biological systems at the single molecule level.[1] He is a vocal advocate for more research into alternative energy and nuclear power, arguing that a shift away from fossil fuels is essential to combating climate change.[4][5][6] For example, he has conceived of a global “glucose economy”, a form of a low-carbon economy, in which glucose from tropical plants is shipped around like oil is today.

While Chu is a very bright man, Chu has no specific specialty even remotely related to the issues of oil production, offshore oil production or deepwater oil production. In fact, his specialty is in the remotely related field of “alternative energy” sources. If we were in the middle of a crisis involving “alternative energy sources” I doubt that I would look to a specialist in “deep water drilling” to lead the team to address the problems. Would you?

Again, I want to know which of our “experts” and “academics” are participating? What are the suggested back-up plans?

As a result of these efforts, we have directed BP to mobilize additional equipment and technology. In the coming days and weeks, these efforts should capture up to 90% of the oil leaking out of the well.

This isn’t good enough for me. A fuzzy estimate of when we will be capturing 90% of the oil. Do we have a back-up plan? The Government originally reported that 5,000 barrels a day were leaking into the gulf – that “estimate” is now 60,000 barrels a day. If we capture 90% of the 60,000 barrels that leaves 6,000 barrels leaking into the gulf, 1000 barrels more than originally estimated.

Isn’t anyone looking for alternate ways to cap the well? 

The President who gutted NASA’s budget and ended our plans to return to the moon, has the nerve to invoke memories of the Lunar Program, but can’t convene a group of our best scientists to develop an alternate plan to cap this well? How pathetic!

17 nations have offered assistance – can’t we benefit from the assistance of at least one of these Countries?

First, the cleanup. From the very beginning of this crisis, the federal government has been in charge of the largest environmental cleanup effort in our nation’s history – an effort led by Admiral Thad Allen, who has almost forty years of experience responding to disasters.

President Obama has a strange sense of time. Admiral Allen wasn’t appointed until 14 days after the spill. Mr. President, it took you 9 days to even mention the incident.  

Thousands of ships and other vessels are responding in the Gulf. And I have authorized the deployment of over 17,000 National Guard members along the coast. ……and I urge the governors in the affected states to activate these troops as soon as possible.

The Governors of the involved states dispute the count of “ships & vessels” and so do I. As to the National Guard Troops, they were requested 6 weeks ago and apparently were authorized during last night’s speech. The President spent the previous two days in the gulf and then waited to return to Washington for his speech to “authorize deployment”.  

You can Google it if you like …. When you do you might note that the President authorized 1200 National Guard Troops to our southern the border to assist with immigration issues – the 1200, authorized 3 weeks ago,  have yet to arrive – maybe they are walking to the border from Washington.

Forty eight hours ago, Admiral Allen proudly announced that 400 skimmers were deployed. 400 skimmer boats for 3000 miles of coast line. Other than say, a strange desire to support American Unions during this crisis, is there any scientific reason that Dutch oil skimming vessels can’t skim oil off American waters. Scientific not political.  

Earlier, I asked Ray Mabus, the Secretary of the Navy, a former governor of Mississippi, and a son of the Gulf, to develop a long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan as soon as possible. The plan will be designed by states, local communities, tribes, fishermen, businesses, conservationists, and other Gulf residents.

This is a great idea. Why doesn’t this approach apply to capping the well and pursuing the cleanup – why did it take so long – 7 weeks to be exact. I’m thankful for this step – but I am also overwhelmed by the totality of inaction.

I approved a proposal to consider new, limited offshore drilling under the assurance that it would be absolutely safe – that the proper technology would be in place and the necessary precautions would be taken. That was obviously not the case on the Deepwater Horizon rig, and I want to know why. The American people deserve to know why. The families I met with last week who lost their loved ones in the explosion – these families deserve to know why. And so I have established a National Commission to understand the causes of this disaster and offer recommendations on what additional safety and environmental standards we need to put in place.

How odd. After 7 weeks we don’t know what happened – not a clue. We have guesses but no facts. Yet the President refuses to acknowledge that we may, in fact, need no additional regulation. We may not need a single new regulation. There are over 16 million pages of regulation that that govern oil drilling …. 16 million pages. The odds are quite good that, just like with Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and immigration, the regulations have already been written, but they are not being enforced today. 

Already, I have issued a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling. I know this creates difficulty for the people who work on these rigs, but for the sake of their safety, and for the sake of the entire region, we need to know the facts before we allow deepwater drilling to continue. And while I urge the Commission to complete its work as quickly as possible, I expect them to do that work thoroughly and impartially.

I’ll say this simply, I don’t trust the Presidents motives. I believe his motivation is in passing “Cap & Trade”. We have known since day two that 11 men were lost as a result of this accident. The President waited for over 40 days to schedule and capitalize on a photo opportunity with the dead men’s families.  The President has not focused on determining what the facts are and taking the actions to prevent a reoccurrence. The President and other Politicians are interested in photo opportunities and “30 second sound bites”.

Deepwater drilling has gone on for years. Rather than suspend the needed drilling, before we have even identified what went wrong or what caused the “disaster” the President could order “permanent safety inspectors” aboard the rigs to oversee operations and insure compliance with the safety standards already in place. Rather than throwing 10’s of thousands of people out of work, increasing the cost of American energy and reducing our supply of American Oil, why not do what we know to be possible now and move forward with production in the most heavily regulated manner I can think of … an ever present “inspector” overseeing the current work? Is the answer, because that won’t help the President meet his true objective, passage of “Cap & Tax”.

For decades, we have known the days of cheap and easily accessible oil were numbered. For decades, we have talked and talked about the need to end America’s century-long addiction to fossil fuels. And for decades, we have failed to act with the sense of urgency that this challenge requires. Time and again, the path forward has been blocked – not only by oil industry lobbyists, but also by a lack of political courage and candor.

Speaking of a lack of candor, cheap and easily accessible oil is, in fact, bountiful.  Americans are denied access to this “natural resource” by the politicians and their supporters in the “green agenda machine”. Environmental regulation places 80% of America’s oil “off limits”, the vast majority of which is easily accessible.  America is not “addicted” to oil. America’s reliance on oil and other fossil fuels is based on our native intelligence, an intelligence that rejects wasting trillions of dollars on “alternative fuels” that are less portable, less plentiful, less effective, and less reliable, alternative fuels that lack any type of cohesive marketing or distribution network. Other so called “clean fuels” like natural gas or nuclear energy are attacked just as is oil. The rejection of carbon fuels is about the subsidization of the “alternative energy sources” that fund and control the “green agenda”. Solar, wind and battery powered initiatives have been around and subsidized for almost 40 years. If and when these “alternative energy” programs become practical and profitable, artificial Government subsidies will not be necessary.

The consequences of our inaction are now in plain sight. Countries like China are investing in clean energy jobs and industries that should be here in America. Each day, we send nearly $1 billion of our wealth to foreign countries for their oil. And today, as we look to the Gulf, we see an entire way of life being threatened by a menacing cloud of black crude.

Oh please, Mr. President. You have the statistics available to you; please don’t lie to the American people. China is investing in alternative energy, but it is doing so as it buys every drop of oil it can get its hands on. China is also opening 10 new coal fired energy plants every month with plans to continue to do so for the next 10 years.

This is not some distant vision for America. The transition away from fossil fuels will take some time, but over the last year and a half, we have already taken unprecedented action to jumpstart the clean energy industry. As we speak, old factories are reopening to produce wind turbines, people are going back to work installing energy-efficient windows, and small businesses are making solar panels.  

Mr. President, we are well aware of your exaggerations concerning the “green economy” and all of the green jobs it has created.

When I was a candidate for this office, I laid out a set of principles that would move our country towards energy independence. Last year, the House of Representatives acted on these principles by passing a strong and comprehensive energy and climate bill – a bill that finally makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy for America’s businesses.

You just could not resist the opportunity to use this tragedy to try to manipulate the people, to manipulate the Congress, to rally support for “Cap & Trade”, a policy that has been around for years, to resurrect this “bill” on the backs of those suffering in the Gulf. Mr. President “Cap & Trade” will not plug that well. “Cap & Trade” will not get the oil workers back to their jobs and Cap & Trade will not return the crowds to their vacation destinations throughout our south. “Cap & Trade” will make that small group of your supporters in the “Green Agenda Movement” wealthy beyond all imagination; a wealth that will be taken from America’s working families.

The same thing was said about our ability to harness the science and technology to land a man safely on the surface of the moon. And yet, time and again, we have refused to settle for the paltry limits of conventional wisdom.


Mr. President, on behalf of those working on our Space Coast, let me remind you that you gutted the NASA budget and ended our program to return to the moon. How dare you make reference to our Lunar Program when in practice you reject all that it has done and all that it can do, while you lay off the workers from the space industry, workers who will join the ranks of the oil rig workers you are putting out of work? Please save us from the rhetoric and phony job counts, more action less words.  

Instead, what has defined us as a nation since our founding is our capacity to shape our destiny   


Exactly, Mr. President. We want to shape a destiny, an immediate destiny, a destiny that finds a solution to capping that well.  Let us just leave all the “Cap & Trade” frenzy for later and focus on “capping” the well and cleaning up the spill, now.

Mr. President you just don’t get it. When we, the people say, we need to get the “outhouse painted white”, we want a plan to “paint the outhouse white”, not for someone to form a working group, panel or committee of architects and environmentalists to study building a museum to display various works of “outhouse” art. Heavens no – besides it takes too long to get the Washington bureaucrats to pass all the required “outhouse art” regulations necessary to keep us all safe. Regulations no one will ever enforce.    

 The President’s full and unedited speech can be read here:

Update: BP starts burning oil from leaking ruptured well

NEW ORLEANS – BP began burning oil siphoned from a ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico early Wednesday as part of its plans to more than triple the amount of crude it can stop from reaching the sea, the company said.

BP PLC said oil and gas siphoned from the well first reached a semi-submersible drilling rig on the ocean surface around 1 a.m.

Once that gas reaches the rig, it will be mixed with compressed air, shot down a specialized boom made by Schlumberger Ltd. and ignited at sea. It’s the first time this particular burner has been deployed in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP officials previously said they believed the burner system could incinerate anywhere from 210,000 gallons of oil to 420,000 gallons of oil daily once it’s fully operational. The company did not say how much oil the new system has burned. It said work to optimize the new system was still ongoing.

Under pressure from the Coast Guard, the energy firm is attempting to expand its ability to trap leaking oil before it reaches the water. Already, oil and gas are being siphoned from a containment cap sitting over the well head and flowing to a drill ship sitting above it in the Gulf of Mexico.

Adding the burner is part of BP’s plan to expand its containment system so it can capture as much as 2.2 million gallons of oil a day by late June, or nearly 90 percent of what a team of government scientists have estimated is the maximum flow out the well.

McAuleysWorld: Why did it itake 56 days to do this? When was it first suggested? Who was involved in the decission to delay burning the oil and why was that decision made?  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: