Obama gave his first Oval Office address tonight, but it sounded more like a political speech than a presidential address.
First, the fingerpointing. From the White House transcript:
One place we’ve already begun to take action is at the agency in charge of regulating drilling and issuing permits, known as the Minerals Management Service. Over the last decade, this agency has become emblematic of a failed philosophy that views all regulation with hostility -- a philosophy that says corporations should be allowed to play by their own rules and police themselves. At this agency, industry insiders were put in charge of industry oversight. Oil companies showered regulators with gifts and favors, and were essentially allowed to conduct their own safety inspections and write their own regulations.Yeah, it's Bush's fault. That's getting stale. Besides, it was HIS director of the Minerals Management Service, a Harvard environmental lawyer, who was fired for apparently not doing her job. Was she taking bribes? Is so, prosecute her.
The problem with regulating BP isn't that there weren't enough regulations, it was that the people Obama put in office were not doing their job. It was his Administration that was set to give BP a safety award for the Deep Horizon Well shortly before the accident. How is Bush responsible for that?
Then, there was this bit of disinformation:
Oil is a finite resource. We consume more than 20 percent of the world’s oil, but have less than 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves. And that’s part of the reason oil companies are drilling a mile beneath the surface of the ocean -- because we’re running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water.That stat is typical liberal speak in the Blame America chorus. But the reason we are forced to drill in deep water isn't that we have run out of oil in shallow water but because environmentalists with the help of Democrats like Obama have put near shore and much onshore oil off limits. And this business about "running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water" doesn't jive with U.S. government figures which show vast supplies of oil onshore (map pdf)and offshore (map PDF). Not to mention the more than TWO TRILLION barrels of oil available in Western oil shale. Just one problem: environmentalists and their Democrat allies are fighting development of ALL these resources.
Combine that with Obama's moratorium on more offshore oil drilling, which will cost tens of thousands of good paying jobs, and Obama's energy policy means we will be more dependent than ever on foreign sources of oil. While we place our own resources off limits the rest of the world is drilling for oil like there is no tomorrow.
Anyone Care for Pie in the Sky? Or Just Higher Taxes?
Obama spent the closing portion of his speech pushing for cap and tax legislation that won't clean up a single beach or stop the oil from gushing into the Gulf. The legislation, which makes a false promise to reduce CO2, also won't lower the earth's temperature even a fraction of a degree. Neither will any new "green jobs" dependent as they are on government subsidies offset the loss of jobs caused by the bill. After seeing the poor job creating results of the $trillion stimulus bill only a fool would fall for the promise of "green jobs."
Have those who are pursing cap and tax legislation really thought through the consequences? I doubt it. But Obama did say during the 2008 campaign that under his energy policy, electicity rates would "necessarily skyrocket. (video)" Every American family would pay hundreds, perhaps thousands more in higher energy costs. The effect would be to kill more jobs, not create new ones.
PPP Poll Shows Louisianans Think Bush Did Better Job
Obama's political address today is in reaction to news such as this:
Our new Louisiana poll has a lot of data points to show how unhappy voters in the state are with Barack Obama's handling of the oil spill but one perhaps sums it up better than anything else- a majority of voters there think George W. Bush did a better job with Katrina than Obama's done dealing with the spill.Does Obama really think that voters are going to be impressed with a speech long on fingerpointing and political opportunism and short on real answers to the nation's worst environmental disaster in history?
50% of voters in the state, even including 31% of Democrats, give Bush higher marks on that question compared to 35% who pick Obama.
Overall only 32% of Louisianans approve of how Obama has handled the spill to 62% who disapprove. 34% of those polled say they approved of how Bush dealt with Katrina to 58% who disapproved.
And no where in this speech did Obama even hint that he was ready to accept the offers of help from nations around the world who have advanced oil spill cleanup technology ready and waiting to help.
Meanwhile, the oil keeps gushing from the well (at rates much higher than previously thought) creating the equivalent of the Exxon Valdez spill every five days.