Local gulf coast officials are tearing out their hair trying to comprehend and comply with seventeen (as in seven more than 10) federal agencies falling all over themselves to do The Boss’ bidding and help and impose and superimpose their visions and regulations on what is a war zone with hundreds of ships and some 30,000 people involved, many of them frightened. And all of them inexperienced on a disaster of this scale.
…the federal government is a major player in the problem for at least three reasons:
1. It owns the property on which the oil well is located.
2. It regulates offshore drilling. And
3. In order to protect small players in the drilling industry, it capped economic damages from this sort of spill at just $75 million, a way-too-low cap that encourages risky behavior.
Reason 2 begets reason 4, which would be the regulations that prevent continental shelf or land based drilling, where a spill is relatively easy to plug and clean, and without which the Deep Water Horizon would not have been necessary.
Reasons 5 though 8 would be the protectionist Jones Act, the Fed delay in permits for Louisiana to build barriers, the Feds inability to get miles of boom from warehouses in Maine, and legislators wasting time with BP lobbyists who wanted a cap-and-tax bill. Regulation ad infinitum, and planning more.
Reason 9 would be stopping the burning of the oil because of air pollution concerns. In other words, being unable to make a reasonable risk assessment trade-off.
So, right. We need more regulation. And windmills. Set up just behind Obama’s teleprompters. And we need unicorns running constantly on giant, grid-connected hamster-wheels.
Maybe we can’t blame Obama for the rig blowing up, but we can blame him for doggedly insisting on his vision of government über alles while lying about being “on top of it since day one.” We can blame him for using this disaster for ideological purposes. We can blame him for being a pathological narcissist.
Read this, all of it: The latest “crisis” speech
Finally, he throws out a bunch of legislative and regulatory trial balloons all based on breaking our “addiction to fossil fuels”. Like “raising efficiency standards in our buildings” – straight out of the House bill which would require a federal inspector to OK your house before you could sell it to ensure it meets all fed standards.”