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Readers blame Republicans for oil spill

Our Readers Who Comment are busy throwing rocks at what many see as a Republican regulatory atmosphere that resulted in the Gulf oil disaster after investigators discovered that several things were wrong with equipment that was supposed to prevent it.

The conversation has more than 400 comments and is full of cheap shots at the "drill baby drill" mantra of some Republicans and attacks on an anti-regulatory approach of the previous administration. Republicans respond by noting that the Obama administration wanted to restart offshore drilling but then placed it on hold after the Gulf situation exploded. Readers also express major long-term concerns about our thirst for energy and the price we are paying to satisfy it.

Meanwhile, as Steven Mufson and David A. Fahrenthold write, "Oil is still pouring into the gulf as federal agencies and others investigate the cause of the accident."

We'll start with frantaylor, who wrote, "Really you can look back at the history of engineering disasters, and EVERY SINGLE TIME the failure is in quality control... When it is not done, you get disasters like the Hartford Civic Center roof collapse or the Hyatt Regency walkway collapse. Both of these disasters happened because an engineer made a faulty calculation and it was not caught by quality control... When you hear companies bragging about their profits, beware, it is usually because they are cutting back on quality control."

[Based on my 12 years of covering aviation accidents, I couldn't agree more.]

mike-sey said, "This is no perfect storm. This is bad sloppy, and lazy management and engineering. So much for the American belief in the efficiency of the private sector. We've seen it in health care and now in oil extraction. I'd be scared to death of any kind of businessman running any kind of government like a business, wouldn't you?"

chopin224 wrote, "Many dead from the oil rig blowing up. Many dead form the coal mine explosion. Many dead in Russia and China in coal mine mishaps. Cheap energy huh? Not to those who lost loved ones."

gmclain offered, "When the article starts with 'a House investigating panel...' you can be assured that it is based on guess and not facts. The blame game is proving nothing except how stupid and self centered most politicians are."

reah1 wrote, "Executive Branch oversight agencies were systematically starved of funding by the Bush Administration, and their appointees' jobs were to restrain the feds from doing their jobs. We have seen this again and again, from the Mine Safety Administration to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to FEMA. Republicans have hated regulation since the days of Ronald Reagan, when government was labeled as THE problem, and the stated goal was to cut taxes and starve the 'Beast.' "

whitebeard1 said, "I guess the gummint is going to have to hire away some competent oil field workers to act as regulating inspectors. They have made the comment that the oil companies have all the experts: therefore, we have to hire a few of them. All these comments that the regulators are incompetent to regulate is true, but we did have laws that were not adhered to, practices which were not followed up on, and BP lied about the fallibility of the preventer..."

gurudev16 quoted Coast Guard Capt. Hung Nguyen, co-chair of the investigating board, who said, "Manufactured by industry, installed by industry, with no government witnessing oversight of the installation or the construction, is that correct?"
and remarked that "The idiocy of the whole "Drill, Baby, Drill'/ We don't need no "stinkin guvmint" philosophy exposed for all its profound ignorance in one tight succinct sentence. Breath-taking!"

mgcrhcp asked, "Isn't the ONLY role of government to protect its citizens and maintain order. They can't even get that right. read this article. How stupid do they think we are?"

And jacktar2001 wondered, "Are any heads going to roll over this? It isn't going to save us from this disaster, but we don't seem to hold people responsible for their negligence anymore."

sylkyj wrote, "You can't expect the oil companies to use any of their record profits for such trivialities as the upkeep of safety equipment, can you?"

And kcbob said, "This is what happens after 30 years of proclaiming government is the problem and cutting regulations."

economy48 wrote, "I hope the[y] get this mess cleaned up and back to drilling. The loss of that big rig is going to cause pain at the pump for women, children, poor and minorities and any other of the liberal special interest groups I failed to mention."

francis4 said, "The beaches will be unusable by humans and toxic to the wild life that depends on them. The ecology of the whole Gulf will be destroyed for decades and the livelihoods that depend on that eco system. Know what? They're all red states that send neanderthals to the Congress and also to their state houses. I don't feel one bit sorry for them. The chickens finally came home to roost."

pelohoki wrote, "No point in further laboring to decide who's responsible. Clearly, all three are plus the regulators. First, Ken Salazar should immediately step down, second, order all offshore oil well safety audit and fix weaknesses/problems, order all 3, BP, Transocean, Halliburton, to collectively clean up and pay for all damages for their criminal negligence."

We'll close with ggrant9170, who said, "i am not under any illusions that anything good will come from offshore drilling. its just common sense that its going to be a nightmare eventually and then we can blame the oil companies, the government, but we only have ourselves to blame. we want the oil, we live on the oil, its our entire way of life and we are not about ready to give up comfort and ease for safety of our oceans and sealife because right now, we don't see how it could possibly effect our lives but my friends, it will and it will devastate us. then begging or pointing fingers is just fruitless because the damage has been done, its over and only the whining and blame game is left."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  May 13, 2010; 9:11 AM ET
Categories:  Oil  | Tags: BP, Congress, Gulf of Mexico, Halliburton, Oil, Transocean  
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Next: Readers take shots at Gulf oil spill lawyers


Oil rig owner aims to limit liability
Transocean Ltd. to petition federal court to cap overall liability from incident at less than $27M.
I hope you are satisfied now, My Dear Sweetie!

Posted by: Al-Majnoon | May 13, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Obama needs to get his head on straight regarding oil drilling! Jane, the host of "Issues" on CNN headline news channel believes we should definitely stop all this. I agree!!!!

Posted by: DeniseHubbard | May 13, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Republicanism ran whole hog to the oil industry with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Did youforget $4 gas?

Did you forget Houston's Enron and Kenny Boy?

Did you forget Sarah Palin's "Drill, Baby Drill!"?

a lot of them made it SUPER-RICH!!

(See oil company profits for the years 2005-2008)

now the downside...

Republicans need to own what they sow...

The rest of us won't be forgetting it anytime soon.

Posted by: vigor | May 13, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Oh, there is plenty of blame to go around. Sell out newspapers who carry water for the Republicans and the oil companies instead of serving as the 4th estate (where is the money in that?) ought to shoulder some of it as well.

Posted by: SarahBB | May 13, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Common US citizens must stay alerts, because anytime a President labels himeself a CEO of the nation, it is a clear indicator that the President does not aspire to be a leader of US citizens, but has cast himeslf in the role of leader for businesses.

I despise Glenn Beck for whatever he spews on his show, but he is dead right on Climate Bill, Climate Exchange and Cap and Trade etc - President Obama will do better to shed his elite school status and listen to Glenn Beck on Climate Bill for a change.

Pardon me Portugese, Jim Cramer!

Posted by: Lambada_ | May 13, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

First, the press is doing a terrible job of covering this disaster. There is a ton of information out there about what was going on at the oil rig including the real-time Totco data pulled out of the wits database. The Totco data is radioed to the mainland as events occure, think of it as "telemetry" telling headquarters what the oil rig and systems are doing in mainly real time.

Of particular note is the fact that blowout preventer tests show that the BOP Casing Shear Rams and Blind Shear Rams were NOT functional!

Why? BECAUSE MINERAL MANAGEMENT SERVICES (the Federal regluator of off shore oild rigs) did not even require them to function!!!!

In the test of the BOP Casing Shear Rams and Blind Shear Rams that was done immediatly befor the blowout it even clearly states the BOP Casing Shear Rams and Blind Shear Rams "DO NOT FUNCTION AS PER EXEMPTION" !!!!!

Basically, under the Bush administration and Republican (non) oversight -Mineral Management Services allowed BP to do whatever they wanted on this drilling project, and even dropped the requirement to have two of the three main safety ram systems on the BOP to even function !!!

Having said that, Obama administration and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar cannot escape some responsibility because this "carte blanc" was never remedied on their watch.

However, it is doubtful Obama himself knew about this particular exemption, but Ken Salazar should have.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar should be dismissed, as should all leadership of Mineral Management Services. That troubled agency is currently NONFUNCTIONAL.

Further, the Obama administration needs to conduct an emergency top to bottom review of all regulations governing all oil and gas operations -land, sea and all.

We can only speculate about what other hidden time bombs lurk in the Bush era gutting of oil operations regulations.

Posted by: plaza04433 | May 13, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Tom DeLay | Republican

In 1995, DeLay had this to say about the Enviromental Protection Agency:

The EPA, the Gestapo of government, pure and simply has been one of the major clawhooks that the government has maintained on the backs of our constituents.

Thanks for destroying America, GOP!!!

Bin Laden

Posted by: lichtme | May 13, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse


Where is the Alaska Disaster know and Sarah Palin?

Why has she not comment about the spill?

Drill baby Drill?


Posted by: A-Voter | May 13, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

BP is hiding the true amount of Oil that is spilling into the Gulf. We need to analyze the True Flow Rate and charge them accordingly for the Waste, as well as the Cleanup and Restoration.

A senior BP executive testified to Congress that the ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico could conceivably spill as much as 60,000 barrels (2,520,000 Gallons) of Oil a day, more than 10~12 times current flow estimates.

If BP is serious about cleaning up the Oil spill they should be using Tools made specifically for that Job:

AbTech Smart Sponges Absorb Oil while Repelling Water and Float for easy retrieval.

Require Drillers to be Insured for Worst case Scenario ($100 Billion ~ $1~2 Trillion from the looks of this accident). The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund supported by industry fees should be raised from $1 Billion to $500 Billion. Current Drillers should be subject to new Insurance and Safety Regulation requirements.

Drill-Baby-Drill Politicians defeated Safety Regulations Requiring Secondary Relief Wells, Remote Acoustic Triggers for Shut Off Valves, corrosion resistant Carbon Fiber Reinforced pipes, and High Quality Cement Sealing requirements; many of which are standard safety requirements in Canada, Brazil, and Norway.

We should have the Highest Safety Standards in the World as we have the most valuable resources to protect.

Posted by: liveride | May 13, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I think what we are experiencing is a massive decay of ethics in this country. Our primary existence seems to focus on making as much money as we can as fast as we can by any means imaginable, and if something goes wrong deflect, deflect, deflect, and then blame government ineptitude.

Yes, I do blame Republicans, but not all Republicans. Some of them are very good people. I blame the Bush/Cheney administration foremost for the way they stonewalled and handcuffed the regulatory infrastructure in this country, and we are now witnessing firsthand the effects of their 8 years of extremely flawed policies.

Posted by: citizen4truth1 | May 13, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

..."Yep as a registered Voter/Vet USAF, I couldn't agree more as it was the Republicans behind big money interests, instead of America's interests!

..."Be sure now you RUN and put some more Republicans in that way they can finish you all good, like the 8.5 Million Jobs they lost America in eight years of the Blew it Bush Administration and the Record/debt/Bill they left $1.5 TRILLION and then left town with the Lowest Job Approval rating in the history of the United States Presidency the Pew Poll reported, 20 PERCENT!

..."Be sure now you RUN and put some more Republicans back in..


Posted by: ztcb41 | May 13, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I don't care whose fault it is. Every moment wasted in fingerpointing puts us closer to catastrophe. Stop the leak. Clean up the oil. Investigate, deliberate, assign blame. That's the order we should be following. But the government is doing nothing. NOTHING. Write your senators and congressmen and women. Write the president. Call, yell and stamp your feet demanding action. We have all of eternity for blame; we need action now.

Posted by: seabelly1 | May 13, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Kudos to the honest Republican 'economy48', above for admitting that women and children are, in his book, "liberal special interest groups."

Yep, in the Dictionary of American Conservative Newspeak, corporations are people, while women and children are liberal special interest groups.

Posted by: JenDray | May 13, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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