Friday, March 04, 2011

Jack Kelly is Wrong

Jack Kelly is at it again, writing a column of distortions and half-truths. He claims the president is "in bed with big oil" ("Sloth in Charge," May 30). However, President Barack Obama's contributions from employees of oil companies represented only 1
10,000th of his campaign donations. Mr. Kelly also claims the federal government "dithered" in construction of berms in the gulf. The delay came while Mr. Obama demanded BP fund the berms, and they eventually provided money in escrow for the project — a project that many scientists believe will not be effective.
Finally, Mr. Kelly's implication that federal regulators' poor response is Mr. Obama's fault ignores history. The agency charged with oversight of oil exploration was gutted by the Bush administration. In 2005 shortly after an energy summit with Dick Cheney at the White House, a provision in a defense appropriations bill allowed off-shore drilling to be regulated, in effect, by the oil companies themselves. This lack of regulatory oversight represents another problem Mr. Obama inherited from a former administration truly "in bed" with big oil.
Mr. Kelly is just as delusional as those who allow deep-water drilling to continue without a reasonable plan to deal with these inevitable disasters.

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