Wednesday, June 09, 2010

More BP oil spill ponderfication…

Shall we?

A bitch just read this news bit about Congress investigating BP and…well, it got my ass thinking about how folks are talking about government as relates to BP.

Hearing the left discuss how the federal government needs to get all up in BPs bitness (some are even demanding a government take-over) isn’t surprising.

But hearing the right demand more government involvement in all things BP is fascinating.

Americans are nothing if not reactive.  Time after time, we the people have to be confronted with some sort of drama to address the source of that drama…and time after time, we the people conveniently forget from whence the drama came once news of the mess is no longer blasting from our various communication devices.

What I find interesting is that the political party that tied patriotism to drilling just a couple of years ago…the same party that said government needed to get out of the way of bitness so that companies can tap into off shore oil…yeah, that political party is kind of getting a pass on this BP fubar.

Catch the knee!


I’m not saying that the Obama administration isn’t responsible for the festival of fubar in the Gulf – they are.

But they aren’t alone in that shit.

More importantly, the Obama administration can’t be alone in that shit…’cause if they are, we the people will face the ramifications of a revolving door of off shore oil drilling reforms followed by deregulation followed by disaster followed by regulation followed by you get the idea.  

Sigh.

We had a policy that didn’t encourage, support or allow for more off shore drilling.

The GOP went after that policy like a dawg on a bone during the 2008 presidential election…and continued to lobby hard for more off shore drilling after the election.

Lobbying for more off shore drilling resulted in President Obama changing policy to allow for some drilling…methinks he used it as a carrot to get something else done, but that’s neither here nor there.

President Obama announced a compromise that would allow for some off shore drilling in late March of this year.

11 people lost their lives after a blowout on the Deepwater Horizon rig April 20, 2010…and the oil’s been gushing since.

Then that tendency to react to drama rather than proactively anticipate drama kicked in…and the same people who were bitching about government regulations standing in the way of off shore drilling are now indicting the government for not fixing the fubar that results from lax regulation of off shore drilling.


The most frustrating part is that many have been predicting this kind of drama for years, so proactive policy was possible.


It just wasn't popular.

Pause…consider…continue.


I guess regulate baby regulate doesn't turn the masses on the way drill baby drill does did.

The optimist in me hopes that members of Congress will take notes and propose some policy changes after they get their BP hearings on.

But the realist in me knows that the blame game rarely produces sound policy.

This has all happened before…

…and, without serious changes, this will all happen again.

8 comments:

libhom said...

Investigations aren't enough. Congress needs to pass laws phasing out offshore drilling entirely. We need to take serious action to prevent more spills.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I love how they always flip flop when it comes to holding companies accountable. Suddenly more government is always needed. To quote Rachel Maddow, "these people aren't even ashamed of themselves." And once again, the media is being lazy and not holding their feet to the fire.

CR said...

In terms of political messages, "Regulate, baby, regulate" is right up there with Jimmy Carter's telling people to turn down the thermostat and wear a sweater or a politician whose stump speech focuses on maintaining our aging infrastructure.

Someone from my school's Environmental Health and Safety department gave a talk in which he showed two containers of a chemical in a lab. The new one had extra containment because it was regulated, but the container with waste wasn't. The speaker pointed out the silliness of that situation.

Then he talked about a trip to the Bahamas to discuss waste handling with the people there. They showed him a landfill in which no effort was made to separate different types of waste, such as recyclables, scrap metal, harmful chemicals, etc. Fires broke out regularly, and the harmful smoke blew over a nearby residential area.

His hosts also took him to a middle school that had 20-year-old chemicals sitting out on shelves, within reach of the kids. His reaction was to put on a hazmat suit and dispose of the chemicals immediately.

His talk was subtitled "Have you hugged your regulator today?" and the message was that we often complain about the regulations, but we'd sure miss them if they were gone.

Anonymous said...

@libhom: Phase out offshore drilling? Do we phase out interstates in LA when there are pile-ups? No, we fix the issue and move on. Would you rather we got our oil from China or Russia? That would be great, having them hold oil over our heads. Face it, we are going to use oil. It's not going away. Unless you see an electric Boeing 747 in the near future...Keep buying your carbon credits.

Shark-fu said...

I should point out that Canada is the largest supplier of oil to the United States...and I'm pretty sure they aren't drilling off shore or holding it over our heads. Just saying.

Shark-fu said...

Correction - Canada does drill off shore. But they do not hold their #1 oil importer status over our heads (wink).

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

I'm intrigued. Tell us more about the carrot on the stick in another post, okay?

Shark-fu said...

Ah Kit, mayhap I will...