I got scolded for not writing all that much about the BP "oil spill" today. Which is funny because I was actually going to address some things I heard on a story this morning on NPR that featured, quite prominently, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal ranting about the multiple failures both of British Petroleum and the federal government's response to the on-going leak.
What struck me most was the rank hypocrisy on display. If memory serves, Jindal is a Republican. That party currently believes that, a), federal regulation of industry stifles profits, innovation, and employment, and to that end the Bush Administration refused to mandate the kind of redundant safety devices on the rig that might have prevented both the accident that killed eleven workers and the on-going oil leak; b) the states are in a far better position to regulate and manage their own affairs than the federal government, and to that end insisted in an earlier press conference that it was his state, not the federal government, that was acting swiftly to protect the coastline of his state from the oil, and was doing a far better job of it than the feds; c) turned down, or attempted to turn down, federal dollars at several points over the previous few months from various agencies for a variety of reasons, and yet now demands, DEMANDS, the federal government "do something".
Pres. Obama is doing quite a bit more than I could ever imagine the Bush Administration doing, considering their response to Katrina. Yet, he is following certain general guidelines for action that one would think a Republican politician would support. He's accepted BP's word that it could manage, then stop the leak, and given it plenty of time to try all sorts of gimmicks, all of which have failed. He's also accepted the general Republican argument that states have rights, too, and given Gov. Jindal ample opportunity to do all sorts of stuff he insists need to be done to protect the inarguably valuable Louisiana coastline from harm. It is Jindal who is now claiming that he would, indeed, do all the stuff he said he was going to go ahead and do, but it is that nasty horrible awful federal government that is preventing them from doing so, making the situation that much worse.
The whole mess is not easily solved, and I have no solution myself. It would seem, however, that a company that practices deep-water drilling like this would have far better contingency plans for a potential disaster like this that involved more than tinkertoys, legos, and duct tape. One would also think Jindal would be praising the free market for allowing BP to drill baby drill without interference from the federal government.
You reap what you sow, as far as I'm concerned, and while my heart really does ache for the brown pelicans, dolphins, and the whole ecosystem damaged by this on-going incident, somebody needs to take Bobby Jindal by the hand, and as they tour the devastation of the Delta marshes, read the speeches he has made, along with the speeches of other Republicans over the years. Then, find a dead albatross covered in oil and hang it around his neck.