May 5th, 2010


he oil that is still leaking from the well can seriously damage the economy and the environment of our Gulf States, and it could extend for a long time. It could jeopardize the livelihoods of thousands of Americans who call this place home. That is why the federal government has launched an all-hands-on-deck, relentless response to this crisis from day one. President Barack Obama May 2, 2010

Yesterday, President Obama tried to sugarcoat his administration’s inadequate and tardy response to the worst oil spill in our nation’s history. His claim that the administration has been “all-hands-on-deck…from day one” is laughable. The Deepwater Horizon well exploded on April 20, but the President did not make his first remarks on the incident until nine days later and finally visited the region May 2, twelve days after the massive explosion. In the days after the spill, the administration did not express much concern and the Coast Guard Commander for the region said that “we do not see a major spill emanating from this incident.” Instead of sending the “A-team” to the region, the President dispatched a Deputy Interior Secretary.

Prior to addressing the Gulf disaster, the President found time to blast Wall Street and the Governor of Arizona, advocate Earth Day awareness, meet with Rev. Billy Graham, pitch racial politics in his weekly radio address, prepare his jokes for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, make a racially divisive video to activate his political coalition for the 2010 election and hold an impromptu news conference on a range of topics. In this news conference, the President discussed everything from the Supreme Court to immigration, but did not mention the disaster in the Gulf.

It was not until April 29 that President Obama deemed the massive explosion right off the coast of Louisiana to be worthy of comment. It was at that point that his administration finally realized that they had underestimated the severity of the explosion. Only then did the administration move into a frenzied state of “action” trying to cover-up their initial mistakes, inaction and utter ineptitude.

Commercial fishermen in Louisiana could have been utilized from the early hours of this crisis to deploy boom and protect delicate marshland. Sadly, there was an unacceptable delay and even now, not enough fishermen are being used and many continue to wait for a call to action that has not come. In addition, the controlled burn of the oil was not started until four days after the second leak was discovered.

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