Sunday, June 13, 2010

The dishonesty of the Obama administration

The Obama administration is, apparently, willing to sink to outright lies in order to make a gesture that makes it seem as if they're actually doing something useful regarding the BP oil spill.

The Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar inserted his and Obama's preferred policy recommendation, a moratorium on oil drilling, into a report from the experts that the administration had consulted about oil drilling. Salazar's dishonesty was so blatant that the experts had to issue a statement saying that they had never recommended such a moratorium.
The seven experts who advised President Obama on how to deal with offshore drilling safety after the Deepwater Horizon explosion are accusing his administration of misrepresenting their views to make it appear that they supported a six-month drilling moratorium -- something they actually oppose.

The experts, recommended by the National Academy of Engineering, say Interior Secretary Ken Salazar modified their report last month, after they signed it, to include two paragraphs calling for the moratorium on existing drilling and new permits.

Salazar's report to Obama said a panel of seven experts "peer reviewed" his recommendations, which included a six-month moratorium on permits for new wells being drilled using floating rigs and an immediate halt to drilling operations.

"None of us actually reviewed the memorandum as it is in the report," oil expert Ken Arnold told Fox News. "What was in the report at the time it was reviewed was quite a bit different in its impact to what there is now. So we wanted to distance ourselves from that recommendation."
Remember, this is the administration that was going to restore science to its rightful place in making decisions. Except when the science doesn't agree with them. Then they'll just make stuff up.

In fact, the experts explained that a moratorium was actually worse for the environment than continuing the drilling.
In a letter the experts sent to Salazar, they said his primary recommendation "misrepresents" their position and that halting the drilling is actually a bad idea.

The oil rig explosion occurred while the well was being shut down – a move that is much more dangerous than continuing ongoing drilling, they said.

They also said that because the floating rigs are scarce and in high demand worldwide, they will not simply sit in the Gulf idle for six months. The rigs will go to the North Sea and West Africa, possibly preventing the U.S. from being able to resume drilling for years.

They also said the best and most advanced rigs will be the first to go, leaving the U.S. with the older and potentially less safe rights operating in the nation's coastal waters.
But see, logic like that or reports on how this will raise unemployment in the region doesn't matter to the Obama administration. They prefer to make a nice gesture that makes it seem that they're doing something, anything in response to the oil spill. The reality that what they're doing may lead to more environmental damage and will definitely harm the economy is not as important as being able to continue the pretense that they're taking action. And if they have to lie about the basis for that gesture, it's no biggie.