Nine years ago, who was looking out for the Gulf?

According to Courthouse News Service’s article here, it sure as hell wasn’t the US federal government. Nine years ago, who held the reins of the Executive and Legislative branches? Well, doggies — that would be the Republicans.

Mike Saucier, a Minerals Management Service official, said new rules requiring secondary control systems for blowout preventers were written in 2001, but MMS upper management in Washington never approved the regulations. “As far as I know, they’re still up in headquarters,” Saucier said.

oil booming

Courthouse News Photo -- boom in the Gulf

I stumbled upon this thanks to a diary at Daily Kos describing Rachel Maddow’s link to the knowledgeable, articulate, and outraged Fishgrease, whose primer on how oil booms should work and why the ones in the Gulf now aren’t is, IMNVHO, a must-read.

Fishgrease says the Coast Guard, who knows how to do this stuff, aren’t handling the booming correctly (for this, I blame the Obama administration’s insistence on letting BP clean up its own mess and then sending in the Navy to help). Furthermore, the Louisiana wetlands are going without booming equipment necessary to their protection because it’s being sent to Alabama and Florida and other coasts to protect their beaches.

Speaking on WWL radio Wednesday, Dr. Sherwood Gagliano, president of Coastal Environments, a Baton Rouge-based group of environmental scientists, said the Delta Plain of the Mississippi River is a “magic place.”
Hailed as “Father of the Louisiana Coastal Restoration Movement,” Gagliano has spent years studying Louisiana’s fragile coastline.
“The estuaries are the nurseries; they are the fertile ground … And I don’t know if everyone understands this,” Gagliano said, “just how amazingly spectacular the Deltaic Plain is.”

Nine years. Let’s see, this is May of 2010. What we were all doing nine years ago? Well for one thing we didn’t have two wars in the Middle East yet (although arguably plans to start at least one, somehow, had been set in motion). We weren’t fighting a ground war in Afghanistan, or one in Iraq. The country might well have been in a malaise, though, in those early days of George W. Bush’s first term — wasn’t there something going on with an American spy plane downed in China? Didn’t the GOP have some spasms of corruption and scandal amongst its Congressional majority?

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2 responses to “Nine years ago, who was looking out for the Gulf?

  1. grahamfirchlis

    Great post from Fishgrease, actual factual stuff, thanks, wouldn’t have seen it otherwise.

    Here’s the quote that jumped out at me:

    There’s not enough boom, rope nor anchor on this planet to properly boom the Northern Gulf of Mexico

    And there’s your fucking problem, right fucking there.

    No matter who does what, a whole bunch of oil is going to land somewhere and somebody is going to get blamed. You are correct to lay the basis at the feet of Republicans, although Clinton didn’t do us any favors either. Starting with Reagan we’ve had 30+ years of steady deregulation, and it will take a decade or more to turn it around properly. Obama has put forth some decent proposals but they get hung up or watered down in the Senate, where Republicans+BlueDogs rule.

    I’m wondering if Obama isn’t hanging back in part because this will be a godawful mess no matter who is in charge so why take the heat, and in part to let the whole country see in no uncertain terms how jimdandy things are when the free hand of the market is running the show.

    The economic collapse and the banksters arrogance was enough to finally get the Senate off dead center on financial reform. If this mess gets as big as it looks like, maybe the Senate – and the American people – will think again about how swell it is to let the other corporations police themselves.

    I think we should dig up Reagan’s body and drive a stake through it though, just to be sure.

  2. The Other Sarah

    This could break BP, people keep saying, and lead to its corporate demise.

    Hmm.

    Speaking of driving stakes thru the bodies …

    And Fishgrease has a new post up at DKos today:
    Booming School, part II.

    I don’t know and haven’t asked if Fishgrease is the online handle for the oilfield whistle blower Rachel Maddow had on her show last night.

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