America needs decisive leaders who understand what government can (and cannot) do to stop the Gulf gusher, clean up the mess, and get business, jobs and prosperity back on track. Instead, President Obama sounds like an anti-business Community Organizer in Chief – pointing fingers, making baseless claims about ending our “addiction to oil,” and leaving no crisis unexploited to promote job-killing cap-tax-and-trade and renewable energy policies. His June 15 “vision” raised more questions than it answered.
1) The President said he can no longer support new drilling unless industry can prove it will be “absolutely safe.” This easily avoidable environmental disaster happened because BP, its contractors and MMS regulators did not follow procedures or respond properly to tests and warning signs, indicating critical trouble was brewing downhole. But if “absolute safety” is to decide activities and technologies, America will come to a standstill in the absence of impossible proof that nothing will ever go wrong, no one will ever screw up, and no technology will ever malfunction.
Oil tankers have often run aground, unleashing their black cargo on our shores. Will oil imports now be banned, as well? Over 42,000 Americans died in car accidents last year. Will highways and city streets be closed to vehicles? Airports? Wind turbines kill 3,000 eagles and other raptors every year, plus 100,000 to 300,000 other birds and bats. Will they be shut down until that carnage ends?
2) President Obama demanded that BP “set aside “whatever resources are required to compensate the workers and business owners who have been harmed” by the spill. With thousands of environmental activists, regulators and trial lawyers on Team Obama, one can imagine what creative damages and costs might be concocted, to convert the initial $20-billion BP fund into a bottomless money pit, and what “standards” might guide bird death valuations, for example.
ExxonMobil paid $600,000 when 85 birds died in uncovered waste facilities. PacifiCorp paid was fined $1.4 million after 230 eagles were killed by its power lines over a two-year period. Will those fines set the standard for Gulf oil spill bird deaths? Or will the standard be the zero, zip, nada fines assessed to date on wind turbine operators for their ongoing slaughter? Will BP be required to compensate oil field workers who lose their jobs because Team Obama imposed an arbitrary drilling moratorium, instead of ensuring improved oversight of drilling and completion activities?
Be the first to read Paul Driessen's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.