Patterico's Pontifications


Finally (Updated)

Filed under: Environment,Obama — DRJ @ 8:26 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Thirty-seven days after it began and on the day it may have been capped, President Obama finally took ownership of the BP Oil Spill:


UPDATE: Allahpundit wonders what critics think Obama should have done that he didn’t do:

“WaPo writers are touting the fact that he officially “owns” the spill now and Chris Matthews continues to hammer him on MSNBC, all of which I’m happy to play along with politically, but I’m a little hazy on what precisely people want him to do that BP isn’t already doing.”

Here’s my 2 cents: BP spent 34 days trying to find a way to produce the well. It’s only been in the past 2-3 days that BP tried to cap or plug the well, something Obama reportedly said they should do “the first week after the spill.”

If his experts told him it needed to be done, why didn’t he pressure BP to plug the well sooner?

27 Responses to “Finally (Updated)”

  1. Well, since Biden declared success in Iraq one of Obama’s “greatest achievements” I suppose he can take credit for anything and get away with it.

    Elena (4afde9)

  2. he’s so in command it’s breathtaking

    happyfeet (c8caab)

  3. I updated the post.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  4. When he was sure the surge would fail:

    ” It’s time to admit that no amount of American lives will resolve the political disagreement that lies at the heart of someone else’s civil war.”

    After the surge worked:

    “Finally, the very fact that Iraqis are celebrating this day is a testament to the courage, the capability, and commitment of every single American who has served in Iraq. ”

    Imagine, if somehow Arizona stems the wave of kidnappings and murders and DUIs and other crimes greatly increased by rampant illegal immigration. Will Obama take credit for that too? Of course he will. And I’m sure he’ll take credit for a census being far freer of corruption than it would have been but for O’Keefe destroying much of ACORN’s reputation.

    It’s downright dangerous how he won’t own an issue if it’s not going well. There’s a reason we never hear much about Afghanistan or the economy. That’s the core reason Obama so rarely gives press conferences. If the economy recovers, he will then take ownership of it. If Afghanistan turns around, then he’ll be commander in chief. This is a very short term solution to his political problems.

    I don’t really see him as much more of a leader than I did a couple of years ago. He’s never taking charge when the going is tough, taking his licks, and leading us. He’s playing politics, golfing, raising money. Long term, I think he would have much stronger approval if he had always been owning our problems, instead of vaguely blaming them on Bush era ‘corruption’. Who do we see taking charge on North Korea, making the case to China, talking to South Koreans and the UN? Hillary Clinton. Thank God (can’t believe I feel this way, but I do).

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  5. “…why didn’t he pressure BP to plug the well sooner?”

    He hadn’t given BP to the unions yet.

    AD - RtR/OS! (fce032)

  6. Dustin…When the going get tough, Obama appoints a commission.

    AD - RtR/OS! (fce032)

  7. Oops…


    AD - RtR/OS! (fce032)

  8. Obama and the feds have no competence to cap oil well blowouts 5,000 feet below the surface. They could, however, have a plan to mitigate damage. It has been known for years that fire booms can contain a large spill and burn off the oil. That, off course, would cause CO2 pollution so maybe that is the reason the Obamais haven’t yet made a decision in 6 weeks and why none were ready.

    Then there is the matter of sand berms to keep oil out of marshes and wet lands. Maybe that disturbs the habitat of the Louisiana sand crab or something. So, they have to have six weeks of hearings before a decision can be made.

    Madeline Halfbright famously said after 9/11. “Of course we took terrorism seriously ! We had meetings about it every week!”

    Mike K (67e8ce)

  9. I’m not super-cynical cause of I believe BP loves us and wants to help us be better, but why do the relief wells have to go all




    happyfeet (c8caab)

  10. Doctor Mike…In the World of the Left, taking a meeting solves all problems.
    Because to them, talking about a problem is the same as doing something about a problem;
    so, as long as they’re talking about it, the problem is being dealt with.


    AD - RtR/OS! (fce032)

  11. Great!!Since he formally took ownership today I guess we can now safely call it the Obamaspill. (Although I suppose those who don’t like us to use the word Obamacare may object.) And don’t even get me started on Obamadebt.

    elissa (7fa716)

  12. Happyfeet, what I’ve heard (secondhand) is that there’s a break in a seal on the pipe 300 feet below the surface and that the relief well has to go down below that in order to divert the flow.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  13. hf,

    According to the BP Tech video, they are drilling 2 relief wells and are already at 8,000 and 10,000 feet. Apparently it’s hard to target the relief well correctly — like finding a needle in a haystack — and my guess is it has to go deep enough to hit a producing zone.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  14. oh. my understanding was that the “relief wells” weren’t concerned with producing – they’re strictly for the purpose of sending cement into the existing shaft… or in australia they used mud… like here in your NYT link…

    A fifth attempt finally intersected the original on Nov. 1, and about 3,400 barrels of heavy mud were pumped through the relief well into the base of the original well.

    see they had to go to the base too…

    I guess that’s just how they do it. Thanks that article helps me understand more better.

    happyfeet (c8caab)

  15. aphrael I bet that’s right too, what you said

    happyfeet (c8caab)

  16. Seadrill is a cool name for a company I think.

    happyfeet (c8caab)

  17. The drilling team was trying to hit a well casing less than 10 inches in diameter at a depth 1.6 miles below the seabed, according to testimony this spring before an Australian government commission of inquiry.

    The BP well has an even skinnier casing, reportedly measuring seven inches in diameter.


    The engineer in me is totally impressed that they can pull this off.

    (Which is, incidentally, one of the reasons I can’t join in complaining about how this is being handled: the engineering task involved in plugging this is, from what I can tell, really difficult, and it’s something they don’t actually know how to do: all they can do is come up with theories about what will work and try them out.)

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  18. Bambi-speak: “This happened on my watch.”
    English translation: “I’ve been watching my poll numbers drop.”

    Icy Texan (38edee)

  19. But, Wait, There’s More: It seems BP and Barack Obama failed to tell the truth, the whole truth, and … Lied to us by omission.

    Drudge has a NY Times article, 5/27/2010, titled:

    “BP Resumes Work to Plug Leak After Facing Setback”

    “…BP officials, who along with government officials created the impression early in the day that the strategy was working, disclosed later that they had stopped pumping the night before when engineers saw that too much of the drilling fluid was escaping along with the oil.

    It was the latest setback in the effort to shut off the leaking oil, which federal officials said was pouring into the gulf at a far higher rate than original estimates suggested…”

    ropelight (667d14)

  20. #18, red had it right. It’s still leaking.

    The top kill procedure actually began early Wednesday afternoon, but didn’t go well right from the start, and was shut down before 11pm on the same day.

    The next day, Thursday, the day of Obama’s PR presentation, there was no acknowledgment the top kill had been halted the night before.

    From the same article, “In the morning (Thursday), federal officials expressed optimism that all was going well. “The top kill procedure is going as planned, and it is moving along as everyone had hoped,” Adm. Thad W. Allen of the Coast Guard, the leader of the government effort, told CNN.

    And Robert Dudley, BP’s managing director, said on the “Today” program on NBC that the top kill “was moving the way we want it to.”

    It was not until late afternoon that BP acknowledged that the operation was not succeeding and that pumping had halted at 11 p.m. Wednesday…”

    It seems that President Obama has played us for fools, but his office will have a full report soon, not weeks, not months, but soon.

    ropelight (667d14)

  21. Happyfeet

    One would assume that to provide the pressure relief, the relief wells would have to be in the same strata as the oil. Hence, they have to go all the way to where the original well hit it.

    Dennis (fef09b)

  22. B.O. announced that his administration has been on top of this from day one, examining and approving every action taken by BP. In that case, he has no right to complain about BP’s actions or what he considers their inaction. The fact of the matter is, the administration has been in charge of this matter since long before the explosion, having approved (through the MMS) the faulty procedure that caused the whole mess. Now the question is, will B.O. give a press conference with a banner behind him that says “Mission Accomplished”?

    Gesundheit (cfa313)

  23. You reap what you sow, and after the Dems and their compliant hordes in the MSM went collectively batsh-t on Bush regarding Katrina, even they had to finally roll off their lover and do their job, however belatedly.

    Dmac (3d61d9)

  24. aphrael, the sea bed is a bit less than 1.6 miles down – just feet under 5000ft in fact. Nevertheless, it is not just plugging a 10″dia hole that deep, it is also 50 miles offshore. Aside from the engineering aspects of the problem, just think of the mobilization issues. BP may well have had this ‘solution’ a month ago. Getting the necessary equipment to the site not only doesn’t happen overnight, it may have, in fact, taken a month!

    bains (2b1f13)

  25. ok Dennis I’m just confused… I thought the relief well was to send concrete down not to “relieve pressure”

    happyfeet (c8caab)

  26. Oh for goodness sake – They’ve been trying to cap the well since the beginning. No matter which technique ends getting this thing under control, they’ll be able to produce the reservoir, even if it takes the currently drilling relief well to do it.

    The relief wells were spudded as soon as they could get the equipment on location, and in addition having the best shot at controlling the well, they can also produce the reservoir through those bore holes.

    In order to produce the reservoir, they have to kill the well no matter what, and the methodology really doesn’t make that much difference. You’re talking about the PR (and environmental) nightmare here.

    Given the political climate in this country, do you really think that BP would deliberately let this go in order to….- actually, I can’t think of any reason for them to f_ck around and, in effect, just let the reservoir drain into the Gulf of Mexico.

    Good Lord.

    Oh, and you’d be amazed at how they can hit a relatively small target with current directional drilling techniques. And they have two wells drilling. But this will take time. The Ixtoc #1 well, which blew out in the Bay of Campeche in 1979 took 90 days to get under control.

    wadikitty (a14371)

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