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Obama’s Oil Panel Have No Oil Expertise

From an almost critical Associated Press:

(Click to enlarge.)

Obama spill panel big on policy, not engineering


June 19, 2010

WASHINGTON — The panel appointed by President Barack Obama to investigate the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is short on technical expertise but long on talking publicly about "America’s addiction to oil." One member has blogged about it regularly.

Only one of the seven commissioners, the dean of Harvard’s engineering and applied sciences school, has a prominent engineering background — but it’s in optics and physics. Another is an environmental scientist with expertise in coastal areas and the after-effects of oil spills. Both are praised by other scientists.

The five other commissioners are experts in policy and management.

The White House said the commission will focus on the government’s "too cozy" relationship with the oil industry. A presidential spokesman said panel members will "consult the best minds and subject matter experts" as they do their work.

Sure they will. The best minds the Sierra Club and the World Wildlife Fund can supply.

The commission has yet to meet, yet some panel members had made their views known.

Environmental activist Frances Beinecke on May 27 blogged: "We can blame BP for the disaster and we should. We can blame lack of adequate government oversight for the disaster and we should. But in the end, we also must place the blame where it originated: America’s addiction to oil." And on June 3, May 27, May 22, May 18, May 4, she called for bans on drilling offshore and the Arctic.

"Even as questions persist, there is one thing I know for certain: the Gulf oil spill isn’t just an accident. It’s the result of a failed energy policy," Beinecke wrote on May 20.

Thank goodness Ms. Beinecke is objective and will investigate this incident with an open mind.

Two other commissioners also have gone public to urge bans on drilling.

Co-chairman Bob Graham, a Democrat who was Florida governor and later a senator, led efforts to prevent drilling off his state’s coast. Commissioner Donald Boesch of the University of Maryland wrote in a Washington Post blog that the federal government had planned to allow oil drilling off the Virginia coast and "that probably will and should be delayed."

So at least three out of the seven commissioners have already expressed their opposition to offshore drilling. And here we were thinking Mr. Obama wanted to get to the truth of the matter.

An expert not on the commission, Granger Morgan, head of the engineering and public policy department at Carnegie Mellon University and an Obama campaign contributor, said the panel should have included more technical expertise and "folks who aren’t sort of already staked out" on oil issues.

Jerry Taylor of the libertarian Cato Institute described the investigation as "an exercise in political theater where the findings are preordained by the people put on the commission."

Why should this commission be any different from Mr. Obama’s other commissions?

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, June 20th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “Obama’s Oil Panel Have No Oil Expertise”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    Would anyone here expect more from the “community organgrinder”?

  2. proreason says:

    Why isn’t Thunderbutt on the commission?

    Who’s looking out for the children?

  3. Right of the People says:

    Does anybody remember his Car Czar? The kid even admitted the only thing he knew about GM was he once slept in his car in the Lordstown GM parking lot. At least the kid does own a car although if I remember correctly it’s a hybrid.

  4. U NO HOO says:

    “Another is an environmental scientist with expertise in coastal areas and the after-effects of oil spills.”

    The tide comes in and the tide goes out. Oil makes a mess until it fades away.

    Can I be on the commission, huh, huh, huh, can I, can I, pleeze, pleeeze, pleeze!

  5. sheehanjihad says:

    “Obama’s Oil Panel Have No Oil Expertise”

    That’s nothing! Obama and his entire administration have no governing or leadership expertise either~! The oil spill will not be recognized as the worst disaster to hit the United States…Obama will. The worst disaster in history. Mmmmm MMmmmm Mmmmm. Asshats.

  6. David says:

    Any estimates on how much this commission is going to cost taxpayers. Obviously not a significant amount compared what is being wasted and squandered else where but at some point it should be a part of the conversation.
    “Mr. President, why should we pay for the opinion of non-experts when they have already given it for free to the press?”

    • Steve says:

      “Any estimates on how much this commission is going to cost taxpayers.”

      I believe this is the commission Mr. Obama requested $15 million for. But there are so many blue ribbon panels being set up these days, who can be sure?

      In any case, that is $15 million dollars that is not being spent cleaning up the Gulf.

  7. Laree says:

    Former Clinton Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick has joined BP as legal counsel. Many would remember her for stovepipping intelligence during the Clinton Years, and her conflict of interest sitting on the 9/11 commission. She made millions from Fannie Mae, and got out before the meltdown…she’s back. Look Who Is Back On The Pipe.

    Nicknamed the Mistress of Disaster because of her culpability in both 9/11 and Fannie Mae. I can see why BP would want to hire someone with disaster experience – and pipes.


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