When the President announced his support for limited offshore oil drilling, I was disappointed. I felt this was a political calculation, not one of any sudden change in beliefs, considering that he had been against it during the campaign.

This disaster off the coast of Louisiana is the nightmare that those of us who are against offshore drilling feared would come to pass.

They are already comparing this to the Exxon Valdez.

VENICE, La. — An oil spill that threatened to eclipse even the Exxon Valdez disaster spread out of control with a faint sheen washing ashore along the Gulf Coast Thursday night as fishermen rushed to scoop up shrimp and crews spread floating barriers around marshes.

Hours before the spill started washing ashore in Louisiana late Thursday, members of Congress issued new calls for Obama to abandon his plans for expanded offshore drilling, and White House officials conceded that the spreading oil slick could cause the president to rethink his position. “We need to figure out what happened,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said. “Would a finding of something possibly affect that? Of course.”

The outlook in the Gulf of Mexico remained bleak in the wake of the April 20 explosion that sank the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and killed 11 workers. A change in the weather and choppy waters prevented a second burn of oil at sea and slowed efforts by a flotilla of ships to skim the oily mixture from the surface of the gulf, federal officials said. Continuing efforts to use remote-controlled robotic submarines to activate a malfunctioning blowout preventer lying on the sea floor in 5,000 feet of water failed.

I can’t speak for everyone else who is against offshore oil drilling, but I can only bring my own reasons – the possibility of disasters like this. No, I don’t trust the oil companies as far as I could spit. Combine that with the local industries that will be destroyed as a consequence- in this case, the fishing and tourism industries, and it’s just not worth it.

But, the main reason why the oil companies can’t be trusted, is because their is no monitoring apparatus in place by government to keep a control over the oil companies. I don’t think folks truly understand how much Bush, The Evil One and their buddies absolutely GUTTED those in the government who would protect the environment. Not just the political appointees, but they proceeded with a systematic gutting of the ‘permanent government’ employees – those employees that keep the structure of the departments going, despite who is the President of the United States. They took flunkies from the oil industry, those who could care less about protecting the coasts, and only see them as a place to rape, pillage, plunder and make money, no matter what the costs to the peoples who would be effected if something would go wrong. AND, because of the way they cut corners, something WOULD ALWAYS GO WRONG.

From The Ed Show, explaining the link of Bush/The Evil One to this oil spill:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

From Digby

The Wall Street Journal reports that the well lacked a remote-control shut-off switch that is required by Brazil and Norway, two other major oil-producing nations. The switch, a back-up measure to shut off oil flow, would allow a crew to remotely shut off the well even if a rig was damaged or sunken. BP said it couldn’t explain why its primary shut-off measures did not work.

U.S. regulators considered requiring the mechanism several years ago. They decided against the measure when drilling companies protested, saying the cost was too high, the device was only questionably effective, and that primary shut-off measures were enough to control an oil spill. A 2001 industry report argued against the shut-off device:

“Significant doubts remain in regard to the ability of this type of system to provide a reliable emergency back-up control system during an actual well flowing incident.”

However, a spokeswoman for Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority said the switches have “been seen as the most successful and effective option” in North Sea usage. Several oil producers, including Royal Dutch Shell, sometimes use the switch even when it is not required by country regulations.

Experts have said that the remote-control switch may have been able to shut off the Deepwater Horizon well, and critics of have said the lack of the remote control is a sign U.S. authorities have been too lax with the industry.

From the NYTimes

NEW ORLEANS — The response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico intensified abruptly on Thursday, with the federal government intervening more aggressively as the rapidly growing slick drifted ever closer to the fragile coastline of Louisiana.

Resources from the United States Navy were marshaled to supplement an operation that already consisted of more than 1,000 people and scores of vessels and aircraft.

Calling it “a spill of national significance” which could threaten coastline in several states, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the creation of a second command post in Mobile, Ala., in addition to the one in Louisiana, to manage potential coastal impact ihttp://www.jackandjillpolitics.com/blog/wp-admin/post-new.phpn Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar ordered an immediate review of the 30 offshore drilling rigs and 47 production platforms operating in the deepwater Gulf, and is sending teams to conduct on-site inspections.

The oil slick was only three miles offshore on Thursday afternoon and was expected to hit coastal Louisiana as early as Thursday night, prompting Gov. Bobby Jindal to declare a state of emergency and to request the participation of the National Guard in response efforts. About 40,000 feet of boom had been placed around Pass-a-Loutre, the area of the Mississippi River Delta where the oil was expected to touch first, a spokesman for Mr. Jindal said.

The Navy provided 50 contractors, 7 skimming systems and 66,000 feet of inflatable containment boom, a spokesman said. About 210,000 feet of boom had been laid down to protect the shoreline in several places along the Gulf Coast, though experts said that marshlands presented a far more daunting cleaning challenge than sandy beaches.

But, I thought the Government was bad…oh, so bad. Yet, when these companies don’t do what they are supposed to do, then suddenly, they go running to the Government to CLEAN UP THEIR MESSES. They need to be sent the bill-AND BE FORCED TO PAY IT. The SILENCE from the ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’, contingent has been DEAFENING. I hope the President uses this disaster threefold:
1. to admit that he was wrong.
2. use this as the excuse to PUSH for the Climate Change Bill
3. use this as calling card for the push for alternative energy NOW. the Wind Farm off Massachusetts needs to be just the beginning.

Use opportunities that come your way, Mr. President. Slap the ‘Drill’ chorus back into oblivion.

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