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June 01, 2010

Obama Heals the Oceans, One Sound Byte at a Time

Translation:

Alarmed by dangerously uninformed criticism of his response to the BP oil spill, President Obama is moving aggressively to stem a gusher of toxic scrutiny that threatens his rapidly dropping approval ratings even further.

The President has moved swiftly, assuring his critics that he is firmly in command of the situation:

"The American people should know that from the moment this disaster began, the federal government has been in charge of the response effort," Obama told a news conference. He was responding to criticism that his administration had been slow to act and had left BP in charge of plugging the leak.

Obama said many critics failed to realize "this has been our highest priority."

Obama accepted full responsibility and accountability (though not to the point of admitting the response so far has been both underwhelming and ineffective)for cleaning up the mess George Bush BP left behind. But he remains supremely confident that his government's plan: attempting to plug the toxic flow of criticism with a "junk shot" of outraged Presidential doublespeak, sending a crack team of attorneys to the beleaguered Gulf, and blasting the "scandalously close relationship" between oil companies and regulators" will repair the badly damaged Democrat brand in time for the November elections.

Posted by Cassandra at June 1, 2010 08:09 AM

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Comments

This is good news for "Drill, baby, drill" conservatives!

Posted by: Craig at June 1, 2010 11:00 AM

The leak doesn't seem to be helping BP's "brand" up in Canada, where BP is lobbying the Canadian government to drop a rule requiring mandatory relief wells to be drilled with every main well as a safety mechanism.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1326556220100513?type=marketsNews

Posted by: Craig at June 1, 2010 11:51 AM

At least Obama's comments on this matter help to clarify the question of his actual citizenship...

Posted by: david foster at June 1, 2010 11:59 AM

I can't imagine anything that will increase the enthusiasm level of BP than AG Eric Holder looking over their shoulder preparing to prosecute them.

Bp's lawyers are probably rolling on the floor laughing while they listen and record everything as Obama takes responsibility for the catastrophe from day 1. It appears the Obama Presidency is unraveling as his soaring rhetoric meets hard reality. Sometimes what works on the small screen of community organizing does not translate to the big screen of world events.

Posted by: vet66 at June 1, 2010 12:11 PM

"The American people should know that from the moment this disaster began, the federal government has been in charge of the response effort,"

Yes... We've noticed.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 1, 2010 12:20 PM

The leak doesn't seem to be helping BP's "brand" up in Canada, where BP is lobbying the Canadian government to drop a rule requiring mandatory relief wells to be drilled with every main well as a safety mechanism.

But what about a relief well in case the first relief well fails. And another relief well if the second one fails too? What about the one after that?

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 1, 2010 12:29 PM

I'll bet this is the last thing The WON thinks about at night when he goes to sleep.

Posted by: bthun at June 1, 2010 12:40 PM

Yu-Ain,

Given BP's "success" so far, I think at least 2 relief wells should be required.

Posted by: Craig at June 1, 2010 01:44 PM

But why not a 3rd, do you not care about the environment so long as it lines the pockets of Big Oil?

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 1, 2010 02:17 PM

Or a 4th, for that matter. Maybe 5? Yeah, 5 will do it.


Unless we need a 6th. Of course 7 is lucky...

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 1, 2010 02:19 PM

Hey! What am I - chopped liver?

Posted by: Sister Mary of the Diminishing Marginal Returns at June 1, 2010 02:27 PM

Maybe sending in the lawyers is Obama's idea of a "junk shot."

Who knows, if you put enough lawyers into the well casing it might plug the leak.

Posted by: Allen at June 1, 2010 02:35 PM

Yu-Ain,

On June 3, 1979, the Ixtoc I oil drilling rig exploded in the southern Gulf after its blowout preventer failed. They also used dispersants, tried "top kill" (which failed) and used a dome called "Operation Sombrero" to capture some of the oil.

It took 3-4 months to drill 2 relief wells and six months after that to reduce the pressure low enough so the well could be finally be plugged with cement in March, 1980.

This all sounds depressingly similar to Deepwater Horizon except the Ixtoc well was only 160 feet below the surface (instead of 5000 feet), and it took two months for the leaking oil to reach landfall in Texas and they sued Mexico (owner of Ixtoc I) for $300,000,000 in damages (in 1980 dollars!).

So, as I said, 2 reliefs would be a great start. At a cost of $100,000,000 per well, it sounds like a bargain to me.

Posted by: Craig at June 1, 2010 02:37 PM

I fear that The Won has taken the wrong lesson from King Canute's beating of the waves and the subsequent retreat of the tide.

Posted by: htom at June 1, 2010 02:46 PM

This all sounds depressingly similar to Deepwater Horizon except the Ixtoc well was only 160 feet below the surface (instead of 5000 feet), and it took two months for the leaking oil to reach landfall in Texas and they sued Mexico (owner of Ixtoc I) for $300,000,000 in damages (in 1980 dollars!).

So, as I said, 2 reliefs would be a great start. At a cost of $100,000,000 per well, it sounds like a bargain to me.

Of course you spend that $100mm per well for every well, not just the ones that break. There are nearly 4000 rigs on the Gulf of Mexico alone. So you are going to spend something along the lines of $400b to prevent a cost of $300mm. It's only $1,000 times more expensive.

I tell you what, I'll give you a vastly better bargain. For the low, low cost of $10,000 I'll cover the first $5,000 of your 2010 taxes.

A 50% rate of return beats the pants off that 0.1% rate of return you call a bargain for the Oil companies. I look forward to your joyous acceptance of my generous offer.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 1, 2010 03:23 PM

Allen, that idea has been floated, er mooted, ah suggested around Festung Kleinrot as well. The concern was that the collected hot air might ignite the methane and other gasses. Otherwise it sounds like a great idea and much less expensive than blowing the well closed (which may be Plan D, according to a relative of mine who retired from the oil-drilling bidness.)

A lot of folks in LA are also not thrilled with the freezing of the other active wells, even those with proven technology and not leased by BP. I've seen initial job numbers as high as 4000 people directly affected, with tens of thousands of secondaries (Petroleum Helicopter International, Schlumberger and others on down to the local grocery suppliers).

Posted by: LittleRed1 at June 1, 2010 03:38 PM

SHAME -- SHAME ON YOU PEOPLE!

It is not important (and besides the point anyway) to consider the potential cost of "fixes", much less whether they might have unintended consequences like putting Americans out of work.

Just ask Congress - they pass legislation all the time without bothering to think about these things. Hell - most of the time they don't even *read* the bills they're voting on.

What could possibly go wrong?

Posted by: Cassandra at June 1, 2010 03:41 PM

Little Red, part of my business is developing prototype well tools. Though I don't know a great deal about the specifics of that well, I am quite familiar with much of the offshore technology in use. I am in favor of a temporary freeze, because I suspect BP has some serious risk management issues. The other companies might as well. It would serve us well, as well as the companies, to at least see that their risk assesment studies are mature and well crafted.

That shouldn't take 6 months if we've got an "all hands on board" effort going on. Which doesn't currently appear to be the case.

Posted by: Allen at June 1, 2010 04:07 PM

Big Daddy Barack and his crack team have been on it from DAY ONE. Rahmbo said, "Let's get this nailed, I gotta go to Israel so I can skip out on a dinner tab for the whole family." Axelrod said, "I'm in the bar if you need me." A former President said, "We could use Joe Sestak done here, I hear he needs a paying job." The Roughneck in Chief put on his scuba gear, swam down to the hole and plugged it with a basketball. Or maybe he didn't. All I know is the White House Team was on it from DAY ONE.

Posted by: Gary Ogletree at June 3, 2010 09:52 AM

Obama is the new God-King. All Hail the King?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at June 4, 2010 01:51 PM

"... from the moment this disaster began, the federal government has been in charge of the response effort,"

Aw gee. So how come it took so long for the gummint to do anything? How come it toook so long to issue "permits"? And why, in the middle of a disaster, does anybody need "permits", anyway? Just go out and do what needs to be done.

Oh - I almost forgot. Jindal is a Republican. We always let them sweat a little before rushing in to save the world.

Did anybody point out that the reason they were drilling in mile-deep water is because the enviro-weenies were dead set against letting them get any closer? That rig has drilled down to 6.6 miles (mostly under water...).

This was an unfortunate accident - probably could have been prevented - by not having to drill there at all (see ANWR). On the other hand, the Gulf has incredibly huge reserves.

Go look up the USS Forrestal disaster. A missile got launched on deck, hit a few planes (almost killing a pilot named John McCain), bombs went off from the heat (they were 10-year old bombs), and the carrier was almost lost at sea.

A Navy investigation finally put the cause at the failure of a $10 part. The Captain and crew were exonerated, but the Captain spent the last years of his career in Iceland - thanks to Adm. Zumwalt.

Life is risky. Ocean drilling is risky. Stuff happens. The Gulf shores will recover - just as all the others have.

Posted by: ZZMike at June 5, 2010 03:00 PM

*The hun hoists a tall, cold brew towards ZZMike in recognition of his uncommon, common sense and knowledge of the Forrestal. On which, IIRC, my old friend Kbob served, at one time, maybe... Or was that CV-63? Da^^^ed if that hasn't been while ago*

Posted by: bthun at June 5, 2010 04:42 PM

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