Paul Rubin's WSJ Op-Ed proposes some damning answers to one of the summer's Biggest Questions: Why is the Gulf oil cleanup taking so long?
As you'll see, the reasons for the delay relate directly to Democratic Party policy and interest group preferences. And the people, wildlife, waters and fauna of the Gulf are paying the price.
Someone should investigate. With the current Democratic administration and Congress, we all know no one will. Answer: put the GOP in charge of the House. THEN we'll get investigations.
When you're arguing on behalf of GOP House candidates this fall, feel free to use this as another justification for voting GOP for the House in November.
From Rubin's Op-Ed:
The press and Internet are full of straightforward suggestions for easy ways of improving the cleanup, but the federal government is resisting these remedies.
First, the Environmental Protection Agency can relax restrictions on the amount of oil in discharged water, currently limited to 15 parts per million. In normal times, this rule sensibly controls the amount of pollution that can be added to relatively clean ocean water. But this is not a normal time.
Various skimmers and tankers (some of them very large) are available that could eliminate most of the oil from seawater, discharging the mostly clean water while storing the oil onboard. While this would clean vast amounts of water efficiently, the EPA is unwilling to grant a temporary waiver of its regulations.
Next, the Obama administration can waive the Jones Act, which restricts foreign ships from operating in U.S. coastal waters. Many foreign countries (such as the Netherlands and Belgium) have ships and technologies that would greatly advance the cleanup. So far, the U.S. has refused to waive the restrictions of this law and allow these ships to participate in the effort.
The Obama administration can also permit more state and local initiatives. The media endlessly report stories of county and state officials applying federal permits to perform various actions, such as building sand berms around the Louisiana coast. In some cases, they were forbidden from acting. In others there have been extensive delays in obtaining permission.
Now, Rubin turns to the obvious question: Why might the government drag its feet, when faced with such a monumental catastrophe as the Gulf oil spill?
One possibility is sheer incompetence. Many critics of the president are fond of pointing out that he had no administrative or executive experience before taking office. But the government is full of competent people, and the military and Coast Guard can accomplish an assigned mission. In any case, several remedies require nothing more than getting out of the way.
Another possibility is that the administration places a higher priority on interests other than the fate of the Gulf, such as placating organized labor, which vigorously defends the Jones Act.
Finally there is the most pessimistic explanation—that the oil spill may be viewed as an opportunity, the way White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said back in February 2009, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." Many administration supporters are opposed to offshore oil drilling and are already employing the spill as a tool for achieving other goals. The websites of the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, for example, all feature the oil spill as an argument for forbidding any further offshore drilling or for any use of fossil fuels at all. None mention the Jones Act.
(All emphasis was added).
We've all lost faith in the MSM to truly pursue this story; they're too committed to the success of Democratic Party politics.
Therefore, make the case that SOMEONE has to investigate---and the best "someone" that's close at hand is a GOP-led House of Representatives.
Therefore, if you want an investigation, vote GOP for the House in November.
I'd especially make this argument against any House Democrat who represents a district in a Gulf Coast state.
Food for thought...