Thursday, April 29, 2010

Obama's Bush-Like Emergency Response

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20th. Nine days later, the White House weighed in:

The Obama administration pledged an all-out response Thursday to the massive oil spill now expected to reach the Gulf Coast within a day and dispatched top officials to the region to help coordinate defenses against the potential environmental disaster. "We are being very aggressive and we are prepared for the worst case," Coast Guard Rear Adm. Sally Brice-O'Hara said at the White House.
It sounds remarkably like President Bush after Hurricane Katrina. Will President Obama hire James A. Baker's law firm, Baker Botts, to conduct the investigation? Might the firm work on behalf of BP, Transocean, Halliburton or Cameron?

In either case, Frances Townsend could influence the report. She wrote an abysmal report on the Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina. Her Lessons Learned flotsam omitted the hospital with the highest patient death toll. It didn't address patient evacuation priorities. What might she leave out regarding Deep Horizon?

Update: The White House ordered Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to submit a report on the disaster within 30 days. There's no word on whether it will conducted in house or contracted out. Meanwhile the federal government is "fully prepared" to deal with the disaster.

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