I was listening to Scott Sloane on WLW this morning while driving to the bookstore. He was talking about the BP oil spill in the gulf. He was generally noting how everyone is out to blame somebody over the disaster and he thinks that’s premature. Fix the problem first, then assess blame.
However, he and some of the callers were talking about the fact that there doesn’t seem to be any kind of infrastructure in place to protect us against this disaster. Generally speaking this was “our well”, but there are other wells out there in the Gulf that don’t belong to us. They belong to other countries like China or whoever. So if those wells aren’t ours, who’s responsibility would it be to protect our shores if something like this happened to one of those? We don’t have authority to tell the Chinese what to do – not in the kind of direct way that we can BP. (aside: not that I’m in favor of Congress dragging in the owner of BP, and not that I’m in favor of the Attorney General discussing criminal charges).
The point is, shouldn’t the coast guard and the federal government be concerned with protecting our borders in this kind of a situation? Isn’t this part of their job? Sloane then went into a discussion of all the money that’s poured into this and wondering where it’s going. He also mentioned the FAA and the FDA and how they don’t come close to accomplishing their jobs sufficiently in terms of Airport infrastructure, and pharmaceutical regulation respectively, despite untold billions of dollars funneled into them.
Then I had a thought. Think back with me about two years – maybe more. Think early on in the 2008 presidential campaign. Think back before the housing crisis and the worst recession since the Great Depression (that isn’t even as bad as the Carter years). What was one of the hot button issues at the time? Oil prices. What are we going to do about this dependency on foreign oil?
Now I generally disagree with the premise of that discussion: that we’re dangerously addicted to foreign oil. I don’t think the problem is nearly as bad as some people think. Though the fact of the matter is, many people think that we are. Those on the right think so because they think it’s a national security threat. What if Iran and Saudi Arabia decided to stop selling to us. What then? Those on the left think it’s an environmental threat. Apparently, oil is bad in any case. But whatever the reasons, there was a great discussion about what to do about getting off of foreign oil.
Now, there were two general theories about how to do it. Theory #1 was: drill for more oil here. Remember ANWR? Those on the right generally supported drilling in ANWR or expanding drilling off the coast of California or in the Gulf. (ANWR = Alaska National Wildlife Reserve and was generally pronounces “awnwawr”). Theory #2 was to invest in alternative sources of energy. Those on the left supported this approach.
I’m definitely generalizing and summarizing here, but this was the basic debate. Those on the left argued against drilling by claiming it would be a disaster to the environment. They talked about all the wildlife that would be disrupted in ANWR and the dangers of drilling off of the coast. They would talk about the Exxon Valdez and the devastating impact that would have.
Now we come to it. What were the counter arguments of the right, class? The first thing they would point out was that the site that they wanted to drill in ANWR was tiny compared to the whole of ANWR. The left wants us to believe that we’re just going to go in and trash the whole place, when in face, the right just wants to go into one small part and set up a couple derricks to begin drilling.
The second argument, however, was to point out that, despite the Exxon Valdez (which was a tanker that crashed and not a rig, oil or derrick that malfunctioned) there has been an extremely low instance of spills and other accidents in the drilling apparatus around this country, and that it’s really very safe, and hardly anything ever goes wrong.
So if you’re still with me at this point, I hope you’re getting a sense of where I’m going with this. Because you need to see it or my next statement will sound like an outright unfounded conspiracy theory. And it may be an outright unfounded conspiracy theory. But with the left wing solidly in control of Washington, can we seriously be surprised that the party that desperately wants to use environmentalism and global warming for the sake of control might be doing the following:
Could it be possible that despite having options to help BP fix this problem and despite having resources to aid Governor Bobby Jindal in Louisianna who is begging for help to go stop this thing might be intentionally holding back and allowing this problem to grow larger than it really needs to so that the next time this foreign oil debate arises they have a case in point? Yeah, ok. Perhaps that’s a bit of a 9/11 truther logic there. Is it? Does this party ever allow things to serve their agenda? They weren’t very quick to blame Bush for Katrina were they? Oh….
Hmm….. Perhaps there’s nothing to this, but maybe it’s an angle to remember the next time this debate comes up. If they come out strong with this as a case to prove their point, I’d be leery of it. Fact of the matter is, despite this accident, the record for this kind of thing since the very beginning of drilling decades ago is still excellent, and this mistake gives us ample opportunity to learn and do better next time, so it should not prove anything for the left, but you can bet they’ll use it in that debate. I’m wondering how many will buy it.