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SENTRY JOURNAL » gulf of mexico, Gulf Oil Spill, h.r. 2454, ixtoc I, persian gulf, President Obama » And Thus Obama Declared All The Gulf Clean

And Thus Obama Declared All The Gulf Clean

by RightHandMan

Last weekend President Obama took his wife and his daughter Sasha to Florida for a dip in the gulf. The event turned into a photo-op and a declaration that the gulf waters are “safe and they are open for business”. The trip may have backfired on Obama because it has done little but spark debate and controversy.

First I must point out that President Obama was in Florida declaring some kind of victory over the no longer oil-layered water. Most, of course, assumed that the whole Gulf was open to all fishing. Not so. Only around 5000 square miles off of the Florida Panhandle are open and shrimp is still off limits. The coasts and deeper waters off of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama are still off limits. I’m sure that Obama’s swim gear didn’t send thrills down the legs of fishermen in those areas – the ones that were hit hardest. This is equivalent of a war being declared won by the commander after the first and smallest battle was partially won.

Make no mistake; this IS Obama’s war! President Obama, as I showed in my post “Failure to Lead”, voted present on the jobless issues, tried to keep his face off of the war efforts, and only after a month of silence declared himself on the job from day one regarding the oil spill. He chose this issue as his baby.

Now, earlier this week White House energy adviser Carol Browner said on the CBS Early Show that the remaining oil “will weather, it will break down naturally. Mother Nature will do her part.”

Oil leaks into the oceans all the time for various reasons. In fact, it is almost constant in Nigeria, and other South African countries. It naturally seeps from the ocean floor more than we can measure. Who is cleaning it up? Who is getting sued? Where are all of the big stories? There aren’t any because the crude oil goes away via Mother Nature’s giant broom.

In fact, the biggest oil spill in history had almost no long term impact. When the Iraqis intentionally destroyed pipelines in the Gulf War it released nearly 5 times the amount of oil from the BP spill into the Persian Gulf. What was the outcome? When the Saudis came to try and clean up they found that most of it was gone.

Nicolas Pilcher, a marine specialist with the International Union for Conservation of Nature studied the Persian Gulf oil spill and said, “What they found and they’ve found in other places in the world, is that nature does recover.”

A 2008 joint German-Saudi research paper on the effects of oil pollution in the Persian Gulf stated that by 1994, fish, bird, whale, and turtle populations were largely unaffected in the area. It also showed that while the fishing industry took a huge hit, it was almost completely recovered by 1994.

Abdul Nabi Al-Ghadban of Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research studied the impact of the Persian Gulf spill. He stated that, “If you have a higher air/water temperature the lighter fraction of the oil, which is more toxic, evaporates, and the heavy fraction, which is least toxic, goes to the bottom.” Does that sound like an area similar to the Gulf of Mexico?

Even the Gulf of Mexico has seen worse. In the summer of 1970 the IXTOC I blew causing the second largest oil spill in history – right in the Gulf of Mexico. What was the result? No trace of an oil spill in 3 years!

History shows us that the impact of oceanic oil spills isn’t as environmentally tragic as we’ve been lead to believe, especially in warmer climates. Edward B. Overton, professor emeritus of environmental science at Louisiana State University and an expert on oil spills said, “People have the idea of an Exxon Valdez, with a gunky, smelly black tide looming over the horizon waiting to wash ashore. I do not anticipate this will happen down here unless things get a lot worse.

It sounds like things are great! Except that fishermen are still off of work in most of the Gulf of Mexico. Tell that to Jacqueline Savitz, a senior scientist at Oceana, a nonprofit environmental group.

“Some people are saying, It hasn’t gotten to shore yet so it’s all good, but a lot of animals live in the ocean, and a spill like this becomes bad for marine life as soon as it hits the water. You have endangered sea turtles, the larvae of bluefin tuna, shrimp and crabs and oysters, grouper. A lot of these are already being affected and have been for 10 days. We’re waiting to see how bad it is at the shore, but we may never fully understand the full impacts on ocean life.”

What is the point here? The point is that this is political. Environmentalists will scream and whine until the cows come home regardless of the evidence. They will eat shrimp next year without batting an eye, but the second someone finds a tar ball on a beach they will rent their clothing in protest. Science and observation are thrown to the wind for the sake of hype and doomsday predictions. If the same people had been around in the 60’s we never would have landed on the moon for fear of sinking into the thick dust.

So how does this all come together?

Obama is playing this like a true politician. At first he stayed away from it because he had just proposed an expansion of off-shore drilling (a week before the spill). A month later he came out and put a face on the spill (BP) and assured the public that he had been on the job from the start. At that point he used BP as a scapegoat for the negative and announced his policies as our saving grace. In the end, BP plugged the hole, Mother Nature did the clean up, but Obama basks in the glory off of a Florida beach…just in time for November.

I said it back in May in my post “Super Pickpocket”. Obama will use this for ammunition to pass his environmental policies and regulatory expansions, he will paint the oil companies as criminals and in the end stake claim for the clean up. It was too easy a prediction and one that has come true. Is it any coincidence that Cap and Trade is about to pass the Senate? I don’t think so.

“Never let a serious crisis go to waste.” Rahm Emanuel

Filed under: gulf of mexico, Gulf Oil Spill, h.r. 2454, ixtoc I, persian gulf, President Obama

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  • Joe August 18, 2010 at 3:09 PM

    I have to assume that Obama was being fed mis-information by his people. No one is stupid enough to believe that the spill is gone. Oh wait….

  • John Carey August 18, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    Very good post Right. This planet has been around a long time an has survived massive astroid impacts, ice ages, and floods. It will survive humanity.

  • Ron Russell August 18, 2010 at 9:37 PM

    Great post as usual John. Fortunately the oil spill was in the Gulf and not in a confined area like the spill in Alaska some years back. Personally I think the long term effects will be small, but the environmentalist will milk this for all its worth and mean while the poor fisherman will suffer the most due to an over reaction on the part of the feds. I often go to Grand Isle, LA as its not too far away, and would buy shrimp off any boat that brought them in today. Now oysters would be another story—I would have to wait until next year. Nature does do a great job at cleaning up our mess!