With growing public anger over the flood of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, the administration
is looking to clarify the government's role, Politico's Mike Allen reports
. In the past few days, the
matter of who's responsible for the cleanup has grown more urgent--mostly because the cleanup isn't going very well. Efforts
to stop the leak are slow, and are looking more and more like wishful
- Not Government's Fault "Receiving blame for
something that's not your fault--or that you can't fix--isn't fair,"
but it's pretty common, comments MSNBC's First Read
team. They "wouldn't be surprised if the president once again visits
the Gulf region. He's got to demonstrate that he's doing something or
that he's as publicly frustrated as everyone else is."
- The Government Low-Balled, Not BP Over at The Washington Post, Kate Sheppard
points out that while BP "has been getting a plenty of flak in the past
week" for "low-balling the amount of oil gushing into the Gulf ... the
now-disputed 5,000-barrel-per-day figure came from the federal
government, not BP." BP had first estimated 1,000 barrels, the National
Oceanic Atmospheric Administration revised to 5,000, and BP later
"affirmed" the higher estimate.
- Government Hands Tied, Legally Jeff McMahon at True/Slant slams progressives who have been criticizing the administration's response:
Oil Pollution Act, signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in
1990, restricts government involvement in oil spills to a supervisory
role. The law was designed to avoid the situation that followed the
1989 Exxon Valdez spill, in which the government was left to clean up a
private company's mess and then had to sue the company to recover
costs. The same act restricts the liability of oil companies to $75
million, although they remain fully responsible for completing the
clean up. That's why BP is required to clean up its own mess.
It Matter? Neither Can Do Anything "The US government has readily
admitted that it does not have the skill of equipment to stop the oil
rising from the wreck of the Deepwater Horizon rig," points out 24/7
Wall St.'s Douglas McIntyre.
"And, it is beginning to question whether BP plc ... has any solutions
at all." He concludes that "as hard has it may be to admit, the leak
may be beyond the ability of technology to cure, and only the eventual
exhaustion of the pressure from under the ocean's floor will stop the
spill from expanding."
- So 'Find Someone Who Can,' demands a frustrated Peter Scheer at TruthDig. "It isn't enough to simply blame BP for not getting the job done. Go out and find someone who can. Lead. Give orders."
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