Darrell Issa (R-CA), the ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has a real problem with priorities. Today he released a report charging that the PR about the Gulf Oil Clean-up issued by the White House is more important to the Administration than the actual clean-up.
Well of course it is! PR is more important to the President than just about anything. Look at all of the lies he has told in the name of PR, things like “you will be able to keep your health plan” or “there are no pork-barrel projects in the stimulus plan” or “I am a supporter of Israel.” Obama tells the country these PR tales because he doesn’t want us to get nervous, he is just pushing through what he wants because, to be frank, Obama knows better than us” (OK Sarcasm off).
The Committee uncovered evidence that Administration officials have misrepresented key facts including the number of assets dedicated to cleaning up the spill, the timing of when officials knew about the oil leak, the extent to which the federal government has been in control, and the effectiveness of its command structure. Furthermore, local officials in Louisiana fear (and evidence suggests that), in addition to being unprepared for the upcoming hurricane season, policy decisions made by this Administration, including the drilling moratorium and an apparent refusal to waive the union-backed Jones Act, will stifle economic recovery in the region for years to come.
Comittee staff has found numerous instances in which the situation on the ground conflicts with official reports. Most disturbing is that the situation in the Gulf is actually more confused than what has been portrayed through official reports and press accounts based on official information. This “spin” is actually making the clean up efforts worse.
According to the report:
- Officials on the ground dispute key White House assertions about the number and timeliness of assets deployed in the Gulf. Local officials describe White House outreach efforts as more focused on stopping bad press than on addressing the disaster at hand;
- The White House’s assurances that there are adequate resources are at odds with the reality on the ground, where those on the frontline of the spill express significant frustration over the lack of assets. Local complaints are supported by the fact that the White House waited until Day 70 of the oil spill to accept critical offers of international assistance. Local workers and boats could have been assisting more with the clean-up if the Federal government had provided them with needed supplies and ;
- While the White House has tried to use the delay in finding a visible leak to explain its early silence on the oil spill, Transocean officials and Coast Guard documents from the scene of the oil spill reveal clear and early indications of a substantial oil leak days earlier than White House accounts;
- The failure of Administration officials to quickly waive laws preventing necessary foreign assets from reaching the Gulf and other regulations are hampering efforts to clean-up and limit damage from the oil spill. Local officials feel the federal government is making the perfect the enemy of the good in cleanup efforts;
- Local officials strongly dispute President Obama’s insistence that the federal government – and not BP – has been in control since day one. One Coast Guard Admiral told congressional investigators that decisions on the ground are made through a “consensus-based” process with BP. In practice, the Federal Government is not in charge of oil spill response efforts through a command-and-control approach
- Local officials strongly believe the President’s call for a drilling moratorium will significantly compound the economic damage caused by the oil spill and will actually increase risk associated with future offshore drilling projects.
On top of it all the report suggests that if there is a bad hurricane season, the Bayou State is in huge trouble because the Administration is unprepared. Does any of this surprise you? Read the entire report below: