Number One Priority Only Worth 45 Minutes!

by Richard H. Frank

The President’s latest photo-op shows him meeting with BP Executive Management in what is being touted as his historic accomplishment in that BP has created a $20 billion trust fund to satisfy legitimate claims against the oil producer resulting from the Gulf of Mexico leak, to be paid in $5 billion/year increments, secured by American assets.

The White House and the media are quick to hype the meeting which lasted four hours.  The President, in fact, spent only 45 minutes in the meeting or approximately 19% of the negotiations.  With a crisis of this magnitude and described by Obama as his Number One Priority, spending 45 minutes seems highly inadequate and is obviously more “show” than substance.

I expect British Petroleum had established their plan and position before attending the meeting.  Now that the commitment has been made, it is time for our President to  show real leadership and take the initiative to free up resources for the containment and clean-up operations.  The time has long since passed for him to issue a waiver of the 1920 Jones law and allow help from foreign vessels to assist in the clean-up in the Gulf.  He needs to rethink his strategy with regard to the moratorium on offshore oil production pending his commission identifying the cause of the accident on the Horizon Platform.  The real cause of the explosion and resulting leak may never be known.  Does he intend to keep the moratorium in place indefinitely while the oil companies, who are in business to make money and produce oil, make plans to move offshore to other countries where they can do business?

Additionally, as we approach Day 60 of the oil leak, there has been no indication that the Obama Administration has assisted BP in their efforts to stop the leak.  There has been no indication that the Administration is moving to eliminate the never-ending bureaucratic red tape delaying containment and clean-up activity.  Instead, the threats, claims of criminal action, investigations and demonizing big oil continue with the added twist of his push for new legislation (cap and trade) indicating that we have serious limited energy reserves in this Country. In fact, the latest estimates are that the United States energy reserves are far in excess of those in Saudi Arabia and the Far East combined.   His claim of limited resources is untrue and constitutes another push for his socialist agenda just as with the health care legislation jammed down the throat of every American.

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