Amidst all the political jockeying over the BP catastrophe, the main players are missing what is really uppermost on America’s mind: It’s the spill rate, stupid. It’s jobs, stupid. It’s the economy, stupid. Miss, miss, miss.
All eyes in Washington, Wall Street, and Main Street were turned this week to the congressional show trial featuring beleaguered BP CEO Tony Hayward. Hayward was a disaster. He played dumb. He stonewalled. And he never got honest about the colossal failure of human judgment at BP that caused this catastrophe.
But folks, seriously, what did you expect? Before this thing is said and done, Hayward and others at BP may very well be criminally indicted by the Justice Department. Hayward could eventually do hard time for all I know. So, of course, he stonewalled. Thank Eric Holder.
What Hayward should at least have done is talk about the progress being made in capping the spill rate, which is gradually going down. To most Americans, and especially those in the Gulf, it’s the spill rate of capture that matters most. Hayward also should have talked about the new BP relief well, which could be up and running in less than a month, to end this disaster. That would be great news for America, and her economy and stock market. Plus, he could have mentioned that BP is hiring thousands of workers to fill new jobs in the cleanup effort.
But Hayward was lawyered to the gills, which doesn’t make anyone happy, including me. And that’s precisely why these congressional show trials leave me bored, tired, and depressed.
And oh, by the way, what’s the role of Congress in this catastrophe? What exactly is it doing besides presiding over these show trials? Doesn’t it have oversight authority when it comes to the Minerals Management Service that utterly failed to regulate the safety of BP’s deep-water drilling operations? Why aren’t more people talking about this?
And why in the world hasn’t Congress suspended the Jones Act, thereby allowing foreign-flag tankers into the Gulf area? What is it waiting for? We’re basically two months into this never-ending disaster. The Gulf cleanup could have been greatly aided by at least 15 foreign countries that were instead spurned after offering their tankers and other equipment. Why aren’t we accepting these offers of help?