Public show isn’t helping stop the oil

Published 12:05 am Thursday, June 17, 2010

Amazingly, 57 days after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, killing 11 men and beginning the monstrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama finally sat down, face to face, with the leaders of BP, the company responsible for the rig.

Critics who directly blame Obama are off base. He’s not responsible for the disaster any more than former President George W. Bush was responsible for Hurricane Katrina.

But the seemingly slow oil spill response from the federal government, the blind trust of BP early on and the apparent ineptness shown is eerily similar to Katrina and directly falls on the administration.

Unfortunately the White House’s reaction to the politicizing of the disaster has only made matters worse as the country seems worried about the wrong things.

The White House — among others — seems bound and determined to publicly flog BP for their part in the disaster. On Wednesday they did just that again while making BP set up a $20 billion fund to settle claims.

Yesterday’s show of “force” — and today’s anticipated public flogging of BP executives by Congress — may make us feel better since we see that something is being done and somebody has to pay, but they do nothing to help with the real problems.

If we were all truly focused on resolving the crisis, we’d be doing two things.

First, we’d be begging every country in the world with equipment available to help us minimize the damage and stop the flow of oil.

Second, we’d be serious about finding ways to curb our nation’s addiction to oil.

Making sure someone pays is a great idea and certainly needs to happen, but all the public shows take the focus away from the real problems.