In today’s Jolt:
The Obama Oil Spill Commission, Every Bit as Effective as Expected
We might be at a turning point in the Gulf, but it feels like we’ve heard that before: “suddenly last Friday, [Thad] Allen announced that BP would install a tight-fitting containment cap that the administration thinks can stop within days all oil from leaking into the Gulf until the well is killed. Disaster response and environmental experts are divided over how harshly to critique the administration’s initial response. More than 540 miles of coastline are oiled. About one-third of federal waters in the Gulf — 81,181 square miles — are closed to fishing. As much as 80 percent of the oil that has spilled might still be in the water or along the coast, if the government’s high-range estimate of 60,000 barrels per day is accurate.”
Well, how’s that . . .(groan) special commission working? Surely now that they’ve finally gotten around to their first meeting, they’re kicking you-know-what and taking names? The Wall Street Journal: “The presidential commission investigating the Gulf of Mexico oil spill spent the day hearing from representatives of the fishing and tourism industries, and generally steering away from questions about why the accident occurred. The seven-member panel, holding a hearing in New Orleans, also heard from BP North America senior vice president Kent Wells, who discussed what BP was doing to stop the leak. But the panelists steered clear of asking Wells about the causes of the spill.”
Well, I’m glad they’ve finally established that the fishing and tourism industries are being hurt. Clearly, we needed a seven-member special commission to figure that out.
The Heritage Foundation’s Rory Cooper is doing yeoman’s’ work on this story that so many outlets would prefer to forget: “While national reporters are fighting the Obama administration’s lack of transparency, they’re not reporting the Obama administration’s lack of competence. Every minute a correspondent scuba dives into the Gulf to reveal that oil is, well, murky, or an anchor shows you another tarball, we miss out on real journalistic oversight… Yes, the story that the White House is engaging in a cover-up mentality is important. As the Louisville Courier-Journal reported yesterday: “The National Press Photographers Association has sent a letter to President Obama expressing outrage at the new rules and requesting that he rescind them. The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, a union that includes broadcast journalists, is monitoring reports of denial of access and censorship.”