Nothing like not letting a crisis go to waste. Rather than actually finding out what went wrong and what might prevent tragedies like this from occurring again, it is way better to investigate the situation without actually investigating anything (the blowout preventer still lies on the ocean floor) and coming up with solutions by talking to policy makers rather than petroleum and drilling experts. When protecting the President and incompetent policy-makers is your priority, there is no need for an independent, qualified committee to review the events that lead up to the catastrophe to start with.
It is no surprise the Dems would use this crisis as an opportunity to push their unpopular legislation and the green agenda they have worked so hard on, but thus far have been largely unsuccessful in passing. It is unfortunate they are determined to kill off an entire industry in the worst economic times we have seen in years. But, just like their manipulation of the report on what the moratorium on off-shore drilling would do to the economy, I'm sure they have manipulated any report on the financial impact this legislation would have too.
Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), top Republican on the Natural Resources Committee said the Obama’s administration’s commission was set up to protect the President.
“By deleting the bipartisan, independent oil spill commission that’s received bipartisan support in both House and Senate committees, Democrats have shown they are more interested in protecting the President than getting independent answers to what caused this tragic Gulf spill. Some of the biggest failures that contributed to the Gulf disaster are the direct responsibility of the federal government and by deleting this bipartisan, independent commission, Democrats ensure that only the President’s hand-picked commission will be digging into any failures of his own Interior Department appointees. There is widespread agreement that no member of the President’s commission possesses technical expertise in oil drilling, and several are on the record in opposition to offshore drilling and support a moratorium that will cost thousands of jobs,” Hastings said.
The bill also sets up myriad regulations and new standards and laws for drilling that have nothing to do with offshore drilling.
“Even more outrageous is this bill’s attempt to use the oil spill tragedy as leverage to enact totally unrelated policies and increase federal spending on unrelated programs by billions of dollars. What does a solar panel in Nevada, a wind turbine in Montana, uranium for nuclear power, or a ban on fish farming have to do with the Gulf spill? Nothing -- but the spill is a good excuse to try and pass otherwise stalled or unpopular new laws,” Hastings said.
Like any other legislation being rammed through these days there are all kinds of other goodies in there, that we won't know anything about until it is passed.
From the Republicans:
Well all of those things sound like steps to prevent another terrible environmental disaster. Especially the part where the justification for more government take over is the failure of government to do their job right in the first place. As has become par for the course, the only way this Administration can deal with mismanagement and poor choices, is more money and regulation.
- Imposes job-killing changes and higher taxes for onshore natural gas and oil production. It fundamentally changes leasing onshore by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, which affects not just leasing for natural gas and oil, but also for renewable energy including wind and solar. Forest Service and BLM leasing are shoved into the three new agencies that are replacing the former Minerals Management Service (MMS).
- Creates over $30 billion in new mandatory spending for two programs that have nothing to do with the oil spill (the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Historic Preservation Fund). In the version of the bill headed to the House floor, Democrats added brand new language that expressly allows this $30 billion to be earmarked by the Appropriations Committee.
- Raises taxes by over $22 billion in ten years – with the taxes eventually climbing to nearly $3 billion per year. This is a direct tax on natural gas and oil that will raise energy prices for American families and businesses, hurt domestic jobs, and increase our dependence on foreign oil. This tax only applies to U.S. oil and gas production on federal leases – giving an advantage to foreign oil and hurting American energy jobs.
- Requires the federal takeover of state authority to permit in state waters, which reverses sixty years of precedent. The mismanagement, corruption and oversight failures of the federal government are being used as justification to expand federal control by seizing management from the states.
- Allows 10% of all offshore revenues – an amount possibly as high as $500 million per year – to be spent on a new fund controlled by the Interior Secretary to issue ocean research grants (ORCA fund). There is no requirement that the fund is used for the Gulf region or anything related to oil spills or offshore drilling. These funds can be earmarked.
There is little to nothing in this bill that will actually remedy the situation in the Gulf and there is nothing in this bill that is going to make better.
That about sums it up folks. There is your government at work for you.
“This bill has less to do with preventing another spill than it does preventing domestic energy production,” Cassidy said.