Since oil began leaking into the Gulf of Mexico more than a month ago, the U.S. government and oil giant BP have been engaged in a marriage of convenience that has left the public—and public commentators—furious at both.
The Obama administration is turning up the heat, but it may be too late for the president to escape the charge that this is his Katrina—that is to say a natural disaster for which the government preparation and response were both obviously and horribly ineffective.
President Obama seems aware of this as he dispatches his top people to Louisiana. But what took so long? And why are we only hearing now, more than a month into this disaster, that, as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar put it, “If we find they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing, we’ll push them out of the way appropriately”?
It isn’t enough to simply blame BP for not getting the job done. Go out and find someone who can. Lead. Give orders. Don’t just complain and tell us, as Salazar did this weekend, “I am angry and I am frustrated that BP has been unable to stop this oil from leaking and to stop the pollution from spreading.” Join the club. —PZS
Los Angeles Times:
In one of the harshest government condemnations of the company to date, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said BP had blown “deadline after deadline” and had not “fulfilled the mission it was supposed to fulfill.”
“I am angry and I am frustrated that BP has been unable to stop this oil from leaking and to stop the pollution from spreading,” Salazar said at a Houston news conference. “We are 33 days into this effort and deadline after deadline has been missed.”
The federal government could resort to taking over tasks now controlled by BP, Salazar suggested. “If we find they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing, we’ll push them out of the way appropriately,” he said.