Obama Gulf Speech Takes a Wrong Turn

By Greg Hunter’s

USAWatchdog.com

Last night, President Obama addressed the nation from the Oval Office in the White House on the Gulf oil disaster.  He got off to a great start by saying, Already, this oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced. And unlike an earthquake or a hurricane, it is not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days. The millions of gallons of oil that have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico are more like an epidemic, one that we will be fighting for months and even years.” Bravo, Mr. President, for giving it to the country straight.

Then the President said, “But make no mistake: we will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whatever’s necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy.” Once again, I think every American would agree with this statement as well. The President went on to outline his “battle plan.” He said, “ . . .  what we’re doing to clean up the oil, what we’re doing to help our neighbors in the Gulf, and what we’re doing to make sure that a catastrophe like this never happens again.”  (Click here for the complete text of the President’s speech last night.)

First of all, this “battle plan” should have been enacted weeks ago.  The President should have called his cabinet and military leaders and taken action a week or two after the well blew up.  He’s not responsible for the blown well, but his remediation efforts started late, to say the least.  I talked about this in a post three weeks ago called “Freeze BP’s Assets Now.” I wrote, “There has been some tough talk from the Obama Administration about BP.  Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said this week, “We will keep our boot on their neck until the job gets done. . . This is a BP mess, it is a horrible mess and it is a massive environmental mess.” First of all, we need boots on the ground and boats in the water, not tough talk about “boots on their neck!” This should have been a full court press five weeks ago when this tragedy first started.  I mean all hands on deck for this one– National Guard, Army, Marines and the U.S. Navy.  Step up and do whatever it takes to protect the coastline.  Salazar is dead wrong to call this “a BP mess.” It is a BP liability, but this mess belongs to America!” (Click here for the complete BP post.)

Secondly, the clean-up the President is talking about is not going well according to a New York Times article two days ago.  The headline reads, “Efforts to Repel Oil Spill Are Described as Chaotic.” Chaotic is not a word you use when things are going smoothly.  (Click here for the complete NYT article.) The President’s speech should have only concentrated on capping the well and taking care of the environment and people of the Gulf Coast.

The President’s speech flew off the tracks when he said, The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now. Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash American innovation and seize control of our own destiny.” Now is not the time to embark on a new legislative agenda, but that is exactly what the President did.  He went right into clean energy and Cap and Trade (some call it Cap and Tax) legislation to pay for it.  What!  Are you kidding me?  This takes the Rahm Emanuel axiom, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before,” to a new low.

The ongoing Gulf tragedy that the President says is “more like an epidemic” is not a legislative opportunity.  The people whose lives were ruined by this mess are NOTthinking about green energy and a new tax to pay for it right now!.  Oil man, T. Boone Pickens, predicted last night the gusher will not be stopped until the “middle of September.” Scientists say the runaway surging well has already vomited up 114 million gallons of crude oil.  That is equal to 11 Exxon Valdez catastrophes!

This will not just affect the Gulf Coast.  The entire country will suffer because of this mess.  This will take much more money and resources than one company, even the size of BP, can generate.  We will be lucky if BP doesn’t file bankruptcy and stick America with the entire bill.  If you thought the economy had even a chance for a real recovery, then the Gulf gusher just sealed our fate to experience a double dip recession.  The ongoing Gulf disaster and the overall economy is what the President should be dealing with right now.  He should forget about pushing a new green energy legislative opportunity and passing a huge brand new tax to pay for it!

Comments
  1. justmeint

    They have admitted that the only way to prevent this from ever happening again is to stop deepwater oil drilling……. This toxic gusher is certainly frightening for us all.

    Did You Know?
    BP engineers alerted federal regulators at the Minerals Management Service that they were having difficulty controlling the Macondo well (Deepwater Horizon) six weeks before the disaster, according to e- mails released by the Energy and Commerce Committee.

    “I don’t think this would have happened on Exxon’s watch,” Tom Bower, author of “The Squeeze: Oil, Money and Greed in the 21st Century,” said in a June 11 Bloomberg Television interview. “They’d be much more careful and much more conscious of the need to supervise subcontractors.”

    WELL excuse me your sainted Exxon……. and Chevron and ConocoPhillips.

    Let’s just take a look at a few of your past misdemeanours, and then we can consider again – if the moratorium on deepwater drilling should be lifted, and place it all firmly back into your nice clean hands!

    • Greg

      justmeint,
      Thank you for weighing in.
      Greg

    • George

      Justmeint, I am with you 100%. While BP made some mistakes I really do not think that the US Government did their part on providing skimmer ships to the point of turning them away. Accidents happen and can even be hastened but if the government ignores their responsible for helping resolve the accident and appears to block help. I can’t blame BP

      • PatriotWatch

        I agree with this statement but if our LEADER(?) at least encourage the American people to support the cause we would have better results.

        He has made me feel alienated. Im on top of most subjects at least with basic knolwedge yet did we not have a flood in MS and is there not oil in the gulf?

        Things feel weird

        • Greg

          Patriot,
          Things do feel weird and it is not the feeling I get when I am about to get some really good news. Thank you.
          Greg

  2. John Bernard

    The foregoing comment notwithstanding, now is not the time to revile oil companies. Our president is a community organizer and cannot get out that mindset. He is being ill served by his staff and lack of personal executive experience. He is floundering, to use a Gulf pun, and the rest of the nation is suffering. The very cynical use of a national catastrophe to railroad the climate change hoax agenda through is reprehensible. You are probably correct about a double dip only it won’t be a recession. My wife and I are trying to figure out how to live without air conditioning,heating, and the other reductions in living standards which will inevitably follow the legislation.

    Kerry and Lieberman’s fronting of this ridiculous effort to reduce liberty is frightening but only the beginning of government efforts to control the population. Given the entrenched unelected agencies it seems that neither party will be able to control the consequences of such actions. Take a look at Europe where these policies were implemented during the late 1970’s, there has been no reduction in pollution, no new jobs, only a few people and institutions becoming very wealthy.

    • Greg

      John,
      Good points.
      Greg

  3. Stephen Clifton

    Typical government response to a crisis. Throw more money at it. We deserve every bit of pain coming our way.

    Stephen

    P.S. My wife would not let me purchase a Gadsden flag the other day because she is afraid of any possible retribution for hanging it up. “When the people fear the government you have tyranny. When the government fears the people you have liberty.”

    • Greg

      Stephen,
      Buy the flag and hang it in the garage. Thank you for the comment.
      Greg

      • Stephen Clifton

        Doesn’t that defeat the purpose? I will hang the flag in the front of my house so all can see that I am fed up.

        • Greg

          Stephen,
          You are correct. In front of the house is a good place. All the best.
          Greg

  4. George

    Greg, Great Article! We need people like you putting the truth out there. I do my best to support you by clicking and checking out your advertisers. Everyone out there, if you want to support Greg, check out an ad…….now on to my take of Obamanomics.

    I sat and listened to President Obama challenge the American people in a Quixotic battle against fossil fuels during his speech tonight. Again, like the Health Care speech, he offers grand visions of the future without a plan and he even admitted that there would be pain here. He speaks of millions of new Green jobs will that replace the jobs lost by increased energy prices just as the original Don Quixote talks of slaying the dragon..
    Barack Obama Quixote you want me to pay $5 or more for a gallon of gas so you can give the illegal aliens health care and your cronies in government big pay raises? Are we going to allow the bums in Washington to push a tax on ALL ENERGY through so we Americans pay higher prices for oil, electricity, and all products and our economy goes into decline while the Chinese and Indian economies grow and prosper? China and India did not experience a recession like we did. They did not have our Congress to spend them into insolvency. These two growing economies are not going to abide by this stupid global warming ploy of Al Gore’s and the so called Kyoto accords exempt them.
    In his speech, Obama lies about running out of places to drill. Truth is that we have plenty of places to drill. BP was drilling in DEEP water because they were not allowed to drill in shallow water which is cheaper and less dangerous. Obama even wants BP to set up a fund that a crony will administer. How much of that money do you think the people will get and how much will get siphoned off to his buddies?
    While Obama did not cause the oil spill, he sure did everything he could to make sure it had MAXIMUM impact. Obama was there day one obstructing the cleanup. His people stopped Danish skimmers ships that would capture 20,000 tons of oil sludge on day three. There are oil booms in warehouses in Maine, there are offers of others ships from other countries; all declined. Why?
    Why did Obama not approve the Governor of Louisiana’s request to dredge a barrier to protect the marshes? Why would Obama turn down help if he REALLY wanted to minimize the oil spill environmental impact? Do we need to drug test him and his staff? Is it incompetence? Or is it, in my belief, he purposely stalled to allow the spill to grow to epic proportion so he could stop off shore drilling and pass his cap and tax policy. And as a bonus, he is impoverishing a lot of Republicans in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida. Obama claims the buck stopped with him. I agree.
    The Question is this; as Barack Quixote charges into oblivion and calls on the American people to follow; will we buy his pretty words again? Will we fail to hold the weasels in Washington that sold us out accountable in Nov? I can not speak for you but I am voting against everyone that supports anything Obama.

    • Greg

      Thank you George.
      Greg

    • maria oceanna

      Thanks for these facts on Obama’s turning down help.

      Inexcusable. his speech making is futile. I campaigned for him and he’s not on my list anymore.

      • Greg

        Maria,
        Thank you for reading USAWatchdog.com!
        Greg

  5. George

    And Greg, according to Pravda, the Russians had similar issues and used a 5 kiloton nuke to stop the oil spill. Oh, it sounds crazy but if you think about it, there would have been a lot less environmental impact if they had done it a week after it happened. My suggestion is a oxygenated powdered magnesium slurry that is pumped out at the leaks and ignite it, there by burning the oil before it reaches the services. They could even pump this mixture into the 20-30 mile long subsurface pools off the coast and again, burn it under water. Magnesium burns so hot that it will burn under water and with the extra oxygen it should easily destroy the oil. It’s my idea and I want to be compensated if they do it ;-)

  6. David Conrad

    You hit this one on the head, Greg. I watched the speech last night, and I knew beforehand that Obama was going to roll out cap and tax once again. He of course did not dissapoint.

    I am amazed! Here is essentially what the President is saying: “Yeah, we have a crisis. Yeah, its bad. Yeah, the country is stuggling. So, my fellow Americans, lets just tax you some more (a lot more, actually), and that will make it all better!”

    Are you kidding me? I agree fully with you …. stop the leak. Clean up the mess. Make sure that it can never happen again. Then, consider building more nuclear plants, mine more coal, develop our natural gas potential (fuel all trucks with it), and yes, drill more shallow water oil wells. If they break down, they can be quickly capped!

    Good job, Greg.

    • Greg

      Thank you David for the comment!
      Greg

  7. Geoffrey Britain

    Just discovered your fine blog.

    Here’s my point of view.

    Though under-reported, Obama was briefed by Coast Guard officials within a few days of the blowout, and informed that there was a high probability that this would be really serious. And years before, plans had been specifically formulated to deal with the environmental effects of a major oil leak in the Gulf.

    So he knew right from the start what could happen and what to do about it, thus Obama’s inaction has to have been intentional. Intentionality implies conscious purpose.

    He.doesn’t.care.about the.economy. He.doesn’t.care.about.the.environmental.damage. He.doesn’t.care.if.the.recession.deepens.into.a.depression.

    He cares about his agenda, because he is a fully committed ideologue. As for his approval ratings, his public image, he only cares about that as it impacts his ability to advance his agenda.

    He absolutely views the Gulf disaster as an opportunity to advance that agenda. So, from his point of view, his speech didn’t go ‘off the tracks’. Actually, he told us exactly what he’s going to do.

    Though the platitudes of vowing to do all that was necessary, of punishing BP were political BS designed to repair his public image of ineffectiveness, while simultaneously advancing his agenda. In fact, the only part of his speech in which he’s really serious is the ‘energy policies’ he wants to advance.

    Ironically, we do need “to embark on a national mission to unleash American innovation and seize control of our own destiny.”

    But of course, he’s going about it all wrong.

    We need to drill baby, drill. We need to build dozens of underground (security against terrorist attacks) nuclear reactors. We need to push clean coal development.

    We also need to face up to certain salient facts; 70% of our oil use is for transportation, which nuclear reactors won’t directly address and, that oil is NOT a long-term solution to our transportation needs, as it is a limited-resource. So, an alternative energy source such as hydrogen fuel cells is needed. But any alternative energy source must be practical and economically viable to be a successful replacement.

    To be successful, the innovation and entrepreneurial impetus must come from the private sector. Government should be conducting pure research, making the results of that research public and then establishing and regulating the ‘playing field’ in which interested inventors and entrepreneurs operate.

    Instead, Obama and the Dems have it exactly backwards, they want to socialize profits and privatize loss (costs).

    • Greg

      Geoffrey Britain,
      Thank you!
      Greg

    • George

      Geoffrey, Everyone in America knows that Obama is one of the great teleprompter readers of our time. All he lacks is integrity, vision, and that all important items: a rational, realist plan. I work with someone who believes that we should walk or bike to where we go to save the environment or ride mass transit. There are several problems: I don’t have good mass transit here in NC and while I like to walk or bike I would spend half my day walking / biking. I believe we should have people working on solutions but I can not put a windmill on my car at this time. But you know, a small nuclear reactor like the Bat mobile had, now that’s the ticket.
      NASA did some great research work in the 1960’s and 1970’s with government dollars. It pains me to see that we give research grants to study the effects of cow flatulence instead of something useful. I blame Congress for wasting money so when real need comes along, were broke.
      Keynesian economists believe that it’s the government’s place to spending money or tax to regulate the economy. Translation: Bigger government.
      I am someone who believes the economy is self regulating. A lot of people believed that FDR’s actions prolonged the Great Depression and I believe that Obama’s actions are not only going to prolong our suffering but will steal the wealth of the average American.

  8. DonF

    I’m taking that “never let a serious crisis go to waste” and running with it. The parallels to the 911 disaster are just way too strong. If you search “BP false flag” there are plenty of links indicating this is just another WELL PLANNED profit opportunity for Haliburton, et al. Here is one link with concise info: http://aangirfan.blogspot.com/2010/06/bp-false-flag.html

    More diabolical legislation is surely on the way, a la the Patriot Act.

    As a person who has great compassion for humanity, these unconscionable acts are just beyond me. This criminal negligence resulting in such massive destruction of the environment is an act of treason against every American citizen. It is a complete betrayal of the citizens of this once mighty country. It is a very dark illustration of the depths to which our government and corporate demi-gods, in collusion, have sunk.

    • Greg

      DonF,
      We do have a real crisis. This makes Katrina look tame and that’s really bad!
      Greg

  9. MikeD

    If I had to compare it to anything, watching Obama’s speech last night was like watching Sanjaya Malakar on American Idol a few years ago. I felt embarrassed for the guy, as he was completely out of his league. Whenever he sang, I cringed & looked away. Sometimes I had to leave the room because it was so uncomfortable to watch. But people kept voting for him week after week despite the judges’ assessments.

    Last night should have been about the people on the Gulf Coast. But in typical fashion, the egomaniacal Obama made it all about himself. It was so embarrassing, so uncomfortable to watch, I almost had to leave the room. I was watching Sanjaya on AI all over again, but this wasn’t a talent show, it was all too real.

    The last song Sanjaya sang on AI was “Something to Talk About.” Last night, Obama just gave America something to talk about: his unbearable ego, his incompetence, his inexperience, and his lack of leadership.

    I think more than just that speech came off the tracks last night, Greg. His entire presidency may have just derailed. It was that embarrassing.

    • Greg

      MikeD,
      You may be right! Thank you.
      Greg

  10. dan

    I, like many, would have rather heard the President outline a plan more like below. It’s a naive dream, but it feels good to write it out.

    The “Now” Plan
    ==============
    Plug the well, make new jobs to cleanup the mess, take good care of those whose livelihood was destroyed due to the catastrophe.

    The “Next” Plan
    ===============
    Acknowledge that “fossil fuels” are here now and must be used now. Acquiesce to drilling on land in our own territories. Increase our use of nuclear (re-start Yucca Mountain).

    The “New” Plan
    ==============
    Call for American innovation to create new energy sources and/or collection techniques. Put an incentive forth – a financial bonus to the company/individual who can change our energy sources in a real way.

    -dan

    • Greg

      Thank you Dan.
      Greg

    • George

      dan, obama is not a “plan” man. All he is good for is talk

  11. Kevin

    “Expect BP to be public enemy No. 1 in the climate debate. There’s a problem: BP was a founding member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a lobby dedicated to passing a cap-and-trade bill. As the nation’s largest producer of natural gas, BP saw many ways to profit from climate legislation, notably by persuading Congress to provide subsidies to coal-fired power plants that switched to gas.”

    and

    “Two patterns have emerged during Obama’s presidency: 1) Big business increasingly seeks profits through more government, and 2) Obama nonetheless paints opponents of his intervention as industry shills. BP is just the latest example of this tawdry sleight of hand.” (The Examiner 06/09/10)

    Free market? Gasp… Just telltale signs of corporatist creep.

    “…a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.” – John F. Kennedy

    “We must not allow the disastrous results of corporatism to be ascribed incorrectly to free market capitalism or used as a justification for more government expansion.” – Dr. Ron Paul

    **Visit mises.org**

    • Greg

      Thank you kevin.
      Greg

  12. MarkM

    Greg,

    You wrote: ” It is a BP liability, but this mess belongs to America!”

    You are absolutely correct. You and I share the liability because we use gas and other fuels. The food we eat and products we buy are created, and or transported with petroleum products.

    We need to deepwater drill, shallow water drill, and drill on land. Do we shut-down air travel when we have a plane wreck? NO. Do we all get off the freeway when there is a massive pile-up? Hell No.

    Deepwater drilling needs a new level of design, planning, and oversight; however, keep drilling.

    The mess in the Gulf is horrible–Obama is clearly incompetant and does not know anything about project planning or the IC command structure that his Coast Guard, BP, and the states, are trying to use.

    We can’t kill BP right now. BP needs to keep making products so that its wealth can be used to pay for this mess.

    Back to my main point: The free market is a giant democracy–we all voted for BP and deepwater drilling when we turn-on lights, drive our cars, buy gas. We also voted for deepwater drilling by allowing our politicians to curb shallow water and land drilling at ANWAR and the huge reserves in Montana and North Dakota, et allia. We chose this!

    Meanwhile, housing starts dropped big-time.

    markm

    • Greg

      MarkM,
      We need oil nad we should keep drilling in the Gulf. We just need to make it safe. I agree with you.
      Greg

  13. Alyce

    I don’t trust Obama’s new Czar, Ken Feinberg, to “oversee” the 20 Billion in the escrow account. Unions are probably brainstorming right now on how they can manipulate their hands on it.

    • Greg

      Alyce,
      I don’t trust Mr. Feinberg either. As pay Czar he was supposed to keep a lid on corporate pay. Last year, the incompetent weasels on Wall Street paid themselves $20 billion bucks in bonuses. Great job Ken! The whole “Pay Czar” idea was a PR stunt. I hope this does not turn into the same thing.
      Thank you for your comment.
      Greg

  14. Stephen Clifton

    Doesn’t anyone here have issue with the use of the term “Czar”? Doesn’t it scare anybody that the government feels it’s justified in telling a private corporation how much it can pay it’s executives? I know the argument that they took bailout money will surface but where does it stop? Is this the beginning of price and pay controls? Thoughts?

    Stephen

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