Over these last two months we have watched the unfolding disaster in the Gulf with horror. We have seen precious lives lost; hard-earned livelihoods hammered; treasured ways of life imperiled. But we have seen something else too — something that ought to be a lasting lesson from this catastrophe: we have seen a federal agency fall captive to the industry it is supposed to regulate.
Energy & Environment
Michele Bachmann is in an oily hole. And she’s still digging.
Despite repeated opportunities to apologize or back down from her misguided opposition to efforts to hold British Petroleum (BP) – and not taxpayers -- accountable for the costs of their oil spill, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann continues to stand up for BP. It’s outrageous.
Some of the nation's top political commentators, legislators and intellectuals offer insight into the biggest question burning up the blogosphere today. ...
Should BP be allowed to continue offshore drilling in the United States?
It's a straightforward question. Yet last week, Republican Minority Leader John Boehner said both BP and the federal government were responsible, and both should pay. He knew he really stepped in it - because he couldn't retreat from that statement fast enough.
The tragic Gulf oil spill has produced overreaction ("end offshore drilling"), demagoguery ("Obama's Katrina") and bad policy recommendations ("We must generate 20% of our electricity from windmills"). None of this helps clean up and move forward. If we want both clean energy and a high standard of living, here are 10 steps for thoughtful grown-ups:
The anticipation is that those
energy-generating, whirling arms would create a whooshing sound. And maybe they
do in some countries. But here, in America, they echo the almost
melodic taunt of a schoolyard victor -- Neh-neh-neh-neh-neh-neh:
You can’t get me.
Senator Hutchinson delivered the below speech on the Senate floor last night and introduced the bill to waive the Jones Act to assist the oil spill clean up this morning. The bill is cosponsored by Sens. LeMieux (R-Fla.) and Cornyn (R-Texas).
The Jones Act was put in place in 1920 to ensure that the United States was able to maintain a fleet of merchant ships. So it was really for protection - flagged carriers against competition from foreign carriers that might undercut our ability to have profitable merchant ships. The Jones Act is currently preventing resources, however, from being used in the massive cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico. This legislation that has been on the books since 1920 is hindering foreign vessels from assisting Gulf communities, as they work to prevent oil from reaching their shores. Currently, foreign vessels need to obtain a Jones Act waiver from the federal government in order to help with the cleanup efforts. For many of the vessels wishing to respond, this request needs to be reviewed by three separate agencies: The coast guard, the maritime administration and customs and border protection. That is three layers of bureaucracy when time is of the essence. During this crisis, we need to cut through the red tape we must get all available assets on the scene as quickly as possible. I think everyone agrees – and other countries have offered their services; they've offered to help. There are European countries that also drill in the oceans and waters on their shores, and they've offered to send ships to help to try to absorb the oil and skim it off. There are volunteers waiting with the right equipment, and they're willing to come to our aid.
Our television ad calling into question Senator Graham’s credibility as an arbiter on the best and most realistic path forward on energy policy has been getting a lot of attention recently. A number of people are asking why a group that ran a major statewide radio campaign in South Carolina praising Sen. Graham a few months ago would chose to run this ad now.