Critical questions 135

Did the Obama administration know that the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was leaking oil into the ocean floor some nine weeks before it exploded?

At Townhall, Kevin McCullough writes in a kind of open letter to Obama:

It seems incomprehensible that you Mr. President and other members of the administration still have your jobs when it is now being reported that the federal government was apprised by BP on February 13th that the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was leaking oil and natural gas into the ocean floor. In fact according to documents in your own department’s files (MMS) you knew that BP was fighting large cracks at the base of the well for roughly ten days back before the spring thaw had arrived. Further it seems you were also apprised six weeks prior to the rig’s fatal explosion that killed eleven of her workers, when a smart guy from Berkley, you know the global capital of intellectualism, announced to the world a near miss on the rig by stating, “They damn near blew up the rig.” It’s also now being reported it appears that BP was asking for your help on this matter long before the deadly accident and the now gushing well of tar.

As a matter of fact it appears they told you on February 13th, and desired your help.

Given this new bit of revelation Mr. President I’m not sure how you can sleep at night knowing that your inaction did cost the lives of eleven family men in Louisiana.

If these allegations are true, they are very serious indeed.

Kevin McCullough does not give the source or sources of his information.

Who is “the smart guy from Berkley”? How does he know that “they” nearly blew the rig up? Who exactly are “they”?

If all this is true, we wait to see the consequences for the administration.

Posted under Commentary, Energy, government, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, June 21, 2010

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This post has 135 comments.


Guarding the guardians 56

“As we speak,” Obama began part of his address from the Oval Office about the oil spill in the Gulf, using the royal “we”.

That was all we (editorial) caught before switching him off.

We cannot bear to listen to him. We have, however, read this part of his speech:

One place we have already begun to take action is at the agency in charge of regulating drilling and issuing permits, known as the Minerals Management Service. Over the last decade, this agency has become emblematic of a failed philosophy that views all regulation with hostility – a philosophy that says corporations should be allowed to play by their own rules and police themselves. At this agency, industry insiders were put in charge of industry oversight. Oil companies showered regulators with gifts and favors, and were essentially allowed to conduct their own safety inspections and write their own regulations.

Who put such villainous persons in charge?

The Director, S. Elizabeth Birnbaum – the one who was fired after the oil began to spill in the Gulf – “assumed duties as Director of the Minerals Management Service (MMS) on July 15, 2009.”

But that means she was appointed in Obama’s reign, doesn’t it?

What was her experience? Was she an “industry insider”?

She was a lawyer, interested in conservation and wild life.

Who assisted her at MMS?

Her Deputy Director was Mary Katherine Ishee, also a lawyer, “appointed Deputy Director of the Minerals Management Service (MMS) on January 19, 2010.”

So she too was appointed in Obama’s reign.

She’s “worked extensively in the renewable energy field and has a depth of experience with the legislative and policy issues affecting both onshore and offshore applications of wind, solar and other renewable energy resources.”

Is there a scientist or engineer in the management?

A scientist, yes. Science Advisor to the Director Alan D. Thornhill was hired in March 2010. His Ph.D is in Ecology. Before coming to MMS he was “Executive Director of the Society for Conservation Biology—an international society of 12,000 conservation professionals working to advance the science and practice of protecting life on Earth. Previously he was the Director of Learning and Communications for the Science Division for The Nature Conservancy (the global organization), and a Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Rice University in Houston, Texas.”

They all three seem staunchly “green” and Obama-compliant to us.

What does the MMS have to say about itself?

The MMS is proud of the important work we do for our nation and its economy from within the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The MMS plays a key role in realizing President Obama’s and [Interior] Secretary Salazar’s vision for energy security for the 21st century. Under their leadership, MMS has already begun the enormous work of implementing that vision – by continuing to support safe development of conventional energy sources while also moving this nation toward a clean, renewable energy future.

The MMS is responsible for ensuring the effective management of offshore renewable energy, such as wind, wave, and ocean current energy. We are also responsible for conventional energy and mineral resources on the nation’s Outer Continental Shelf, including the environmentally safe exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas. …

As a federal agency, we offer our commitment that we will continue to work to develop energy from offshore sources responsibly and to develop clean, renewable sources of energy; we will protect the marine environment and help power the economy for future generations.

Thank you, MMS!

But who has replaced S. Elizabeth Birnbaum as Director?

The new head of MMS is Michael Bromwich, another lawyer, with experience in investigating corruption in police departments and the intelligence services.

No more “gifts and favors” then. But about deep-sea oil drilling