22 July 2010

Retired Admiral In Spotlight, Obama Considers Another Vacation

BP workers in the Gulf of Mexico have stopped drilling a relief well and are preparing to evacuate the oil spill site as a tropical depression nears.

There is a 20-30% chance of tropical storm force winds (39mph or more) at the spill site by Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center says.

Because of the slow-moving vessels at the spill site, evacuation plans are already well under way.

Work on the relief well could be suspended for up to two weeks. _BBC
It is time to make critical decisions about the state of the Macondo wellhead. But decision making by government officials has been glacially slow -- part of the reason why this storm may set well-killing efforts back almost a month. The Obama administration is still considering re-opening the oil spill and allowing millions more gallons of oil to re-pollute an already healing Gulf. But where is Obama in this decision-makiing? Hiding behind the ample bulk of retired admiral Allen.
With the weather in the Gulf likely to get worse in the coming days, the oil response team has a decision to make, one that could mean letting thousands of barrels of oil gush into the gulf again. It's a decision few people envy having to make.

After the first full week of no oil getting into the Gulf from BP's blown-out well, no one wants to have to oil the Gulf on purpose.

"Leave it closed," said one local man.

"Why reopen the well and let the oil leak?" asked a woman as she commuted to work in New Orleans.

But National Incident Commander Thad Allen's decision isn't that easy. Ever since the cap was installed one week ago, they've had to monitor it day by day to make sure nothing happens that could potentially make the disaster even more disastrous. But tropical weather could mean two weeks of no one on the scene to do anything. It's a decision no one wants to make. _WWL.com
Mr. Obama only takes the spotlight when he is in a position to project moral authority and to take credit for something seen to have gone well. In situations of critical decision-making, Mr. Obama tends to stall as long as possible, and finally to vote "present" -- placing responsibility for bad results on subordinates and predecessors.

It may not be such a bad thing that Mr. Obama takes so many vacations. I understand that Phuket is very nice, once again.

Addendum 23July2010: US Energy Secretary Steven Chu has ordered the Macondo well to remain capped and closed during the approach, passage, and aftermath of the tropical storm. All efforts to permanently kill the well will be postponed until seas calm and the working surface vessels can safely return. Meanwhile, the White House has suggested that President Obama and his family are considering a vacation to the Gulf of Mexico sometime this summer.

Oil skimming vessels are being sent to port, but have not found appreciable oil slicks for recovery in the past few days anyway. It is almost uncanny, how quickly the coastline has begun recovering, and how rapidly the oil slicks have faded, once the well was shut in.

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Blogger kurt9 said...

I, for one, like it when Obama goes on vacation. The more often he vacations, the less damage he does. I wish he would go on vacation all of the time.

Thursday, 22 July, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

Yes. The burden of managing an economic recovery (along with saving the world from his predecessors) has been quite taxing for One of Mr. Obama's ethereal, otherworldly temperament.

Now, if we could arrange for the US Congress to take a well-deserved vacation somewhere distal to the asteroid belt, things would indeed begin looking up.

Friday, 23 July, 2010  
Blogger LarryD said...

Given that the Gulf has lots of natural oil seepage, I expected ecological recovery to be quick, but it sounds like even my optimistic guess isn't optimistic enough.

Now, if only the spill containment and oil recovery had been managed competently, the economic losses could have been dropped by an order of magnitude or more. The response has been so bad, that stupidity isn't an antiquate explanation.

It's enough to make me want to build an offshore Crystal Palace for our ruling elite. Over the Oceanic Abyss. And then sink it after they're all abroad.

Friday, 23 July, 2010  
Blogger kurt9 said...

We need to support Zubrin's concepts for Mars settlement and volunteer all of congress (as well as the white house staff) as the initial settlers.

Friday, 23 July, 2010  

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