Obama Plugs Oil Leak

It may have been this very finger that finally plugged the BP oil leak.  However, right now that fact is unclear because, as of this writing, the President has yet to declare credit for ending the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.  Why is the President being so humble?

I think I speak for many Americans when I say, we all held our breath as BP choked off the leak in a manner that can only be described as torturously slow.  To be sure it had to be so, nevertheless, after months of watching oil boil into the sea, the longest month was the week it took them to close the new valve.

It wouldn’t be prudent to react too quickly

As the oil finally stopped gushing, I felt a sense of relief for about one second.  Then another thought hit me.  How long would it be before the President calls a press conference from his vacation in Maine and claims credit for capping the leak?  Seriously.

This is a President quick to react against America’s friends but slow to react to her enemies.  Quick to claim credit for every glimmer of success real or imagined but intransigent in its refusal to accept blame for even the most glaring failure.

[And never one to miss a vacation.  How many since the oil spill began?  TEN vacations since April 20.  That is amazing to me but it is another blog issue not this one.]

This morning it became obvious why the Administration was taking so long to take credit.  They knew more than the public.

Before 6am today, Thad Allen, National Incident Commander Admiral, released a statement regarding the status of oil containment in the Gulf.

“Yesterday I sent BP a letter stating that there were a number of unanswered questions about the monitoring systems they committed to as a condition of the US government extending the well integrity test. Last night a conference call between the federal science team and BP representatives was convened to discuss some specific issues, including the detection of a seep near the well and the possible observation of methane over the well. During the conversation, the federal science team got the answers they were seeking and the commitment from BP to meet their monitoring and notification obligations.

Ongoing monitoring and full analysis of both the seepage and methane will continue in coordination with the science team.

I authorized BP to continue the integrity test for another 24 hours and I restated our firm position that this test will only continue if they continue to meet their obligations to rigorously monitor for any signs that this test could worsen the overall situation. At any moment, we have the ability to return to the safe containment of the oil on the surface until the time the relief well is completed and the well is permanently killed.”

Oil and gases continue to find their way into the sea.

The damaged well may be venting hydrocarbons into the ground beneath the seabed.  Gases and oil appears to be seeping up as far as a mile from the well-head.  The assumption news outlets and environmentalists keep making is that the detected oil and methane seepage are somehow related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

I’ve been interested in deep water oil drilling since the shortages that followed hurricane Katrina.  At that time there was a very loud public cry for more drilling.  (A cry arrogantly ignored by Nancy Pelosi and her left-wing nuts.) It was at this time I heard my first ever interview with the then little-known governor of Alaska.

Governor Palin was explaining how oil seeps naturally into the seabed over large oil deposits.  It seeps through natural cracks in the Earth’s surface where the oil is nearest the surface.  Not unlike lava that break through the surface in places like Sumatra.  The Governor even suggested that drilling and pumping oil out of the sea floor  near such places actually results in cleaning up the surrounding waters.

That was surprising news to me at the time and reason enough in my mind to drill.  Since the Deepwater Horizon explosion it has been impossible to hear a sane voice on off-shore oil drilling.  It’s all fear and loathing.

My knee-jerk reaction this morning was to wonder if the “seepage” the National Incident Commander Admiral was referring to might not necessarily be BP related.  Especially given that the oil seepage was occurring a mile from the well.  As I researched for this article I stumbled upon confirmation of my hunch – a hunch I didn’t plan on sharing since I had no third-party support for it.

I have to credit CNN for including this in their reporting today,

Some seepage from the ocean floor is normal in the Gulf of Mexico, according to University of Houston professor Don Van Nieuwenhuise. When asked by CNN meteorogist Chad Myers, “Do 40 million gallons of oil naturally leak into the Gulf of Mexico every year without wells even being there, just in cracks in the surface, ” Van Nieuwenhuise responded, “I don’t know what the actual number is but that sounds about right. All over the Gulf of Mexico, you have formations that actually leak to the surface.”

“A lot of oil that’s formed naturally, by the Earth, ends up escaping or leaking to the surface in the form of natural seeps and yes, there are a lot of these all around the world,” he said.

It is better to look good than to feel good

Years ago, one of my favorite SNL players, Billy Crystal, used to parody Fernando Lamas with this line.  I think it is a underlying philosophy for Democrats right now.  Reality seems secondary to how they can portray the facts.  Declaring an economic recovery in spite of rising unemployment and making ridiculous statements such as, “We Have to Go Spend Money to Keep From Going Bankrupt.”

It doesn’t really matter whether the oil is seeping naturally or as a result of the BP disaster, as long as there is a leak it “looks” bad.  So it’s BP’s fault.  Once the oil stops it will look good and not until they are really really sure it has stopped can we expect President Obama to take credit.

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