by Diane V. McLoughlin, main website mcloughlinpost.com
My comment No. 100 to Bob Herbert's excellent, 'An Unnatural Disaster'; NYT; May 29, 2010:
Media, politicos and local representatives tried to send a message on-air prior to his visit Friday that they hoped that Obama would take an independent tour of the increasingly oil-soaked and dieing Louisiana wetlands instead of leaving it to BP to portray a false picture of diligent clean-up.
Instead, embarrassing to the point of excruciating, Obama stayed on the photo-op beach. Hundreds of clean-up workers were trucked in for the the day who, apparently, had strict orders not to answer questions about who they were or where they came from.
Obama only referred to beaches in his beach speech, never mentioning the vital environmental and economic importance of the millions of acres of wetlands and the role they play in sustaining the entire Gulf of Mexico. That he didn't, hints at precisely how much time he has devoted to understanding the area and the full implications of the oil's malevolent threat.
When CNN's Anderson Cooper, Parish President Billy Nungesser and others went into the marshlands with television cameras so that we could see for ourselves how bad it is, Nungesser told Cooper that the helicopters circling overhead was probably BP spying on them. Cooper kinda laughed it off. But mea culpa, Cooper discovered pics of them taken from those helicopters tacked to a wall at BP's command center. Ha ha.
The evening before, to illustrate just how alarmed and focused on this national emergency he appears to be, the President attended a reception celebrating Jewish American Heritage Month when it is now forty days and counting in what is the biggest environmental catastrophe in U.S. history.
From the very earliest days I and others have wondered why the gusher couldn't be bombed to collapse the ground down to shut this oil off. Russia has apparently used nukes a few times to do just that. I would like to know why conventional explosives, working in harmony with the extreme pressures existent a mile below the water's surface wouldn't do the trick.
Because from here to mid-August or later if the top-kill/junk-shot efforts fail - that is the projected time it will take to stop the oil spill, we are told. Largest environmental disaster in America's history - times four. We cannot afford to wait additional months while BP tries to drill a sideways well to connect to and redirect the oil.
Two more things: Along with reforming the rules on political donations, the government must end the revolving employment doors between government and private industry. The government is literally stuffed to bursting top to bottom with industry moles seeing to it that they are not burdened with rules to ensure safety, environmental protection or any other public interest concern.