WDAM Viewpoint- Hurricane + Oil = Bureaucratic Nightmare

August 10, 2010

Just when you think Washington's handling of the BP oil spill couldn't get any worse…it does.

According to a report just out from the Associated Press an edict from the Obama administration says that should a hurricane stir up the millions of gallons of crude oil still in the Gulf of Mexico and deposit it in yards, streets, homes and wetlands…it will have to be tested before any clean up can begin.

That's right…samples will have to be sent off to laboratories to see just where the oil came from before it can be removed.  This…because they say not all the oil in the Gulf is from the BP oil spill and there are tens of thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells located in the Gulf.  Therefore…in their infinite wisdom…the feds want to see just who the washed up oil belongs to so that they can assess responsibility.  This, they reason, would enable the government to get paid faster by the various oil companies at fault.

Ed Overton, a professor of Environmental Studies at LSU is quoted by the AP saying, "This is insane."  He says the testing could range from hours to days while cleanup stands at a standstill.  California Representative Darrell Issa was quoted as saying, "At best, this 'plan' will prolong the time it takes for the community to recover from a hurricane.

At worst, it could force displaced residents to remain sheltered at distant locations while the government squabbles over who should clean up the mess."  For those of us who remember Katrina as more than a TV special this hits close to home.  We are going into the teeth of the hurricane season with this flawed plan and someone needs to do something about it before we have a double disaster on our hands.  I'm Jim Cameron…let us know what you think.