While President Barack Obama on Friday was taking bows for what experts concede is a weak economy coupled with disappointing jobs reports, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) slammed the Obama administration for its part in theGulf Oil Spill crisis.
“The response to the oil spill was a partnership between the White House and BP. While the arrangement may have worked well for BP and the White House, many spill victims feel otherwise,” said Chairman Issa.
Key findings in Issa’s committee report included:
* The Administration ceded leadership and management responsibilities for addressing the suffering of oil spill victims to BP. President Obama had to choose between federalizing the response to the oil spill under the Stafford Act or allowing BP to lead the effort under federal oversight under the authorities of the Oil Spill Act. While BP would have been financially responsible for clean-up costs under either scenario, President Obama chose the option of letting BP lead and make critical decisions on recovery efforts under the authority of the Oil Spill Act rather than taking control and managing the emergency.
* Many Gulf Residents and Local Leaders Believe BP is not Meeting its Obligations. Failure to fund removal of clean-up equipment debris, uncertainty surrounding mental health services, and frustration associated with the compensation process are among the concerns of affected Gulf Coast residents. Many believe BP is not meeting its obligations and the federal government has abdicated its responsibility to intervene.
* Before Implementing the Drilling Moratorium, Administration Documents Indicate Officials Made False Assumptions about Effects and Job Losses. In examining the economic impact of imposing a drilling moratorium, the Administration relied on numerous false assumptions. In one internal analysis, the Administration assumed that “drilling could re-start on January 1, 2011.”
In reality, the first new drilling permit was not issued until months later. Alarmingly, in dismissing larger projections of unemployment the document also noted, “we are comfortable with our conservative approach because the loss in employment is not long term, so the full effects of the indirect and induced employment may not be fully felt as some businesses may be willing to sustain short term losses to avoid having to lay off and subsequently rehire workers.” As oil rigs leave the Gulf, layoffs continue, and the economic consequences of the moratorium continue these assumptions have been exposed as deeply flawed.
* After the Spill, the Administration’s Reorganization of the Agency that Regulates Drilling Ignored Critical Input. Upon entering office Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was aware of systemic problems at the agency that regulates drilling (MMS) and indicated an early commitment to meaningful reform. In January 2009, he told employees “[w]e will make sure you have the tools you need to hold special interests accountable, to protect taxpayers from getting fleeced, and to ensure that those who develop our natural resources follow the law of the land.”
Little occurred, however, until efforts were put in motion after the oil spill to radically restructure and split the agency. The reorganization of MMS was announced less than one month after the oil spill. Furthermore, it did not address important recommendations made by MMS employees, Government Accountability Office studies, and investigations by the Department of Interior Inspector General.
Jim Kouri, CPP, formerly Fifth Vice-President, is currently a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, an editor for ConservativeBase.com, and he’s a columnist for Examiner.com. In addition, he’s a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.
He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc.
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