Posts Tagged ‘contact’

Obama’s Katrina in Gulf Just Got Twice As Awful

June 11, 2010

What is it, day 54 of the fool-in-chief’s disastrous inability to do anything about that damn hole he can’t plug?

Well, the damn hold problem is officially bigger than ever.

June 10, 2010
Government doubles previous oil flow estimate for BP well
By Mark Seibel and Renee Schoof | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Thursday doubled its minimum estimate of how much crude oil was gushing from the Deepwater Horizon oil well, saying a panel of scientists had concluded that 20,000 to 50,000 barrels, or as much as 2.1 million gallons, were pouring into the Gulf of Mexico every day before BP sheared the well’s riser pipe on June 3.

That action, which BP engineers undertook to fit a “top hat” containment dome over the well, almost certainly increased the flow, and Dr. Marcia McNutt, the head of the U.S. Geological Survey, said an estimate of the flow since June 3 would be available in a few days.

“Our scientific analysis is still a work in progress,” McNutt said.

The announcement that tens of thousands more barrels of oil than previously estimated have been spewing into the Gulf for weeks added to a growing sense that neither the federal government nor BP correctly assessed the size of the unfolding disaster or marshaled enough resources to meet it.

McClatchy gives us a picture of the constantly changing estimate:

The Los Angeles Times offers more on the sheer scope of the disaster Obama is doing such a terrible job presiding over:

The new figures could mean 42 million to 84 million gallons of oil have leaked into the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on the night of April 20 — with the lowest estimate nearly four times the size of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.

The flow estimates were released by Marcia McNutt, director of the U.S. Geological Survey, and do not count any increases that may have occurred since the cutting of the well’s riser pipe, a step that was expected to boost the flow.

And was it the heroic Obama administration that determined that the official estimates were wrong yet again?

No.  It was a bunch of scientists who had been arguing that the official estimates – from both BP and the federal government – were complete bullpucky:

The official government estimate of the flow rate is 12,000 to 19,000 barrels a day, which means the new device should be capturing the bulk of the oil. But some scientists have said those flow numbers could represent just the lower range and that the rate could be multiple times higher.

Worst-case scenario?
Leifer said based on the data he’s seen so far, the rate of flow from the broken well has increased since the initial April 20 explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig, which killed 11 workers. He believes BP’s decision last week to sever the well’s damaged riser pipe in order to install the containment cap has increased the flow by far more than the 20 percent BP and government officials had predicted.

In fact, Leifer says, the well may be spewing what BP had called before the spill its worst-case scenario — as much as 100,000 barrels a day from a freely flowing pipe.He said he’s seen no evidence from BP to date that would be inconsistent from that dire scenario.

Judging by live undersea videos, “it looks like a freely flowing pipe,” Leifer said. “From what it looks like right now it suggests to me they’re capturing a negligible fraction.”

It’s unclear how much oil is still escaping because scientists don’t have access to enough data and the video feeds show a “disorganized cloud” of oil shooting out of open vents in the containment cap and between the riser and the cap, Wereley said.

Obama assured us prior to the top hat attempt which not only failed but made the crisis much, much worse that he was in charge, and that BP was answering to him.

Which means that it’s OBAMA’S FAULT that BP even attempted the top hat procedure in the first place.  Everyone knew there was a risk that it could make the problem much worse by at least 20%.  Obama gambled big and failed huge.

And it is readily apparent that Obama has literally assisted BP in a continual giant cover-up as to the actual extent of the damage, either by omission or comission:

From the New York Times:

Tensions between the Obama administration and the scientific community over the gulf oil spill are escalating, with prominent oceanographers accusing the government of failing to conduct an adequate scientific analysis of the damage and of allowing BP to obscure the spill’s true scope. […]

And the scientists say the administration has been too reluctant to demand an accurate analysis of how many gallons of oil are flowing into the sea from the gushing oil well. […]

Oceanographers have also criticized the Obama administration over its reluctance to force BP, the oil company responsible for the spill, to permit an accurate calculation of the flow rate from the undersea well. The company has refused to permit scientists to send equipment to the ocean floor that would establish the rate with high accuracy.

Ian MacDonald of Florida State University, an oceanographer who was among the first to question the official estimate of 210,000 gallons a day, said he had come to the conclusion that the oil company was bent on obstructing any accurate calculation. “They want to hide the body,” he said.

You want chilling?

Contacts in Louisiana have given me numerous, unconfirmed reports of cameras and cell phones being confiscated, scientists with monitoring equipment being turned away, and local reporters blocked from access to public lands impacted by the oil spill. But today CBS News got it on video, along with a bone-chilling statement by a Coast Guard official: “These are BP’s rules. These are not our rules.”

Fifty days into the disaster, Barack Obama had still never bothered to make any contact with the CEO of British Petroleum to lay out the way things will happen, to find out what is going on, or to hold BP accountable in any way for anything.  Or, I don’t know, to politely ask BP to please allow some actual measurements of the flow rate so the nation can know the extent of the disaster they are going to have to deal with.

And now it is becoming increasingly obvious that BP – not Barack – has been ruling the roost all along.

Obama is responsible?  He doesn’t even have a clue what is going on.

Well, now, after 54 days – and weeks’ worth of inexcusable delay and weeks’ worth of criticism – Obama is finally “summoning” the BP CEO to mitigate the damage being done to his political hide.  But it’s rather obvious that Obama isn’t meeting the BP chief to do the right thing, but rather to appear to do the right thing to avoid further legitimate criticism over why he’s taken so damn long to do the right thing.

Obama should have at least been on the phone with the BP head within the first three days of this disaster.  Instead, he’s ignored his responsibilities and allowed BP to repeatedly lie, obfuscate, conceal, and even fabricate and done nothing about any of it.

What we have here is a complete failure of leadership.  And the result of that failure has just officially become twice as awful as it had been.

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