Friday, May 28, 2010

The Oil Spill, Who's in Charge?

Yesterday I heard President Obama say he was in charge of the oil spill -- to stop it and clean it up. When people are in charge, they don't have to call a press conference to say they're in charge.

BP is in charge, as best as I can tell. They are the only ones who know how to operate at 5,000 feet deep. The Gulf of Mexico is their lake. BP should not be in charge, but they are.

It's already happened. We can prevent this from happening again, but right now, BP has the ball and the rest of us are just stuck watching. I don't like it anymore than you do.

I wish President Obama was in charge, or that nice rear admiral from the Coast Guard, or Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana. But wishing won't plug the leak -- which should be called an eruption, not a leak.

This oil "eruption" can result in a good thing -- because it unites us. I am finding common cause with a wide variety of people -- because so many people are extremely angry about this.

This experience can result in positive changes. The eruption will be stopped, the oil will be cleaned up, BP will no longer be in charge, and a new day will come our way, all those good things we hoped for.

This eruption in the Gulf of Mexico is not the worst. The worst is oil from the Persian Gulf. I am not completely opposed to offshore drilling because it's not the worst -- maybe the second worst, but not a close second. Oil from the Persian Gulf is far more dangerous.

Oil from Nigeria --- millions of barrels of oil piped out of the delta of the Niger River. Desperately poor people live there. Oil is spilled on their mangrove swamps every day. There is no protection, none, no safeguard, no media watching, no government oversight. BP is in charge there.

Offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is not as bad as oil from the Persian Gulf or from Nigeria.

If we did not have one army in Iraq and one army in Afghanistan, and a fleet in the Indian Ocean -- all noble American young people risking their lives to protect our supply of oil........ if we withdrew from that region, then we could apply our resources to sound oceanography and drill for oil offshore in a much safer way, with serious submersibles watch-dogging the whole operation at great depths.

And meanwhile plunging even more resources to onshore, domestic sources of energy -- all those pretty things -- wind mills, solar panels and biodigesters, which is where the real answer lies.

But the priority is to get rid of the worst -- the oil from the Persian Gulf. Get our troops out, bring our navy home. And then President Obama would not have to call a press conference to say he was in charge. He would just be in charge and he would make good decisions.

Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

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Fred Owens
Box 1292
LaConner WA 98257

1 comment:

Carl said...

Thanks, Fred, for reminding us of the bigger picture around this issue. I hadn't thought much about the mess in Niger.