Oil, Obama and the Sleazy MMS
President Barak Obama has decided to set up a specialist panel following the ongoing oil crisis, and the involved parties blaming each other. The commission is to be set up to examine industry practices and the governments roll in the disaster.
The oil has been contaminating the Gulf since 20th April when the BP Deepwater Horizon rig exploded. BP reported that they were managing to funnel the equivalent of 2000 barrels of oil from the well to a tanker ship. This reported figure of 2000 barrels a day only equates to 40% of the estimated daily spill. a
The President would establish a presidential commission, by executive order according to Whitehouse officials. It would study oil industry practices including the agency responsible for regulating offshore oil drilling, Minerals Management Service (MMS), and look at regulations and government oversight.
Salazar, who oversees the federal agency that monitors offshore drilling, will testify before two Senate committees this coming Tuesday (19th May). The Environmental Protection Agency and the Coast Guard Commandant will also testify at a separate hearing, with the oil company executives back for another round of questions.
Scientists said the oil will move into the so-called loop current soon if it hasn’t already, though they could not say exactly when or how much there would be. Once in the loop, it is believed that it could take 10 days to reach the Keys.
Obama has commented harshly on the “cosy” relationship that the MMS has enjoyed with the oil industry; a relationship that has been criticised in the past.
It is believed at this point that the commission will have seven members, none of whom are currently in government, although this has not officially been announced yet.
It is a credit to Barak Obama that he is taking this tragedy in the same way as the US Government took tragedies such as the space shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986 and the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island in 1979. Both disasters had independent panels created to investigate the event.
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