The Big Question: Did Obama respond quickly enough to the oil spill?

Damon N. Spiegel, entrepreneur and writer, said:

No they sure didn’t and anyone who thinks otherwise should review the timeline and events that occurred since April 20th.   The Administration should have jumped on this the day it occurred.  They are aware to the recent tragedy that struck the gulf with the Hurricane and they are aware of the issues around FemaGate post Rita.
 
Now all I hear is the Administration telling the public that BP is going to pay for this when BP already announced they would foot the cleanup bill. However, BP cleaning up the mess doesn’t absolve their fiduciary duty to the Gulf States.  The Obama administration tends to underestimate the problem and then overact. We’ve seen it over and over again.   It is too bad that the Administration again demonstrated a lack of leadership in building a coalition of private and government sector professional to fix this problem.


Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said:

It would be nice to see President Obama open up a serious discussion of the risks associated with drilling here and now.
An industry analyst just put the low end of the range of cost estimates at $12.5 billion, with the high end being in the hundreds
of billions. Let's say that this cost is divided over 1 billion barrels of oil (100,000 barrels a day for roughly 30 years). The low
end comes to $12.50 and the high end would run into the hundreds of dollars per barrel.

This is the sort of discussion the country needs about drilling -- what are the benefits, what are the risks. They can bring
in Sarah Palin to lead the "drill baby drill" chant at the breaks, but the country needs to understand the basic economics
in this story.


Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist.org, said:
Yes.

Effective executive decision-making involves taking a moment to figure stuff out, then acting.



Peter Navarro, professor of economics and public policy at U.C. Irvine, said:

No. They were delayed because they had to wipe the egg off their faces because of their new offshore-drilling policy.



John F. McManus
, president of The John Birch Society, said:
 
If the Obama administration's response to the oil spill includes any diminution of its intent to free up more areas for exploration and drilling, then its response will be completely counterproductive.
 
One part of the response should include an acknowledgement that there will always be accidents, spills or some other problem in this industry.  Certainly, the recent coal mine disaster in West Virginia comes to mind as a terrible accident. Yet, no one has suggested the mining of coal should be abolished or diminished. 
 
There are several sources of the needed energy that our nation is not tapping. These do not pose the possibility of the type of problem witnessed in the Gulf of Mexico. Shale deposits in the Rocky Mountain states is one source of energy that should be exploited. Nuclear power is another.  Turning to these should be part of the response.
 
Dependence on foreign sources for energy is suicidal, yet this is where our nation finds itself. The oil spill off Louisiana must not be allowed to impede domestic energy production.
 

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