Monday, June 07, 2010

Obama Oil Blame Game -- Get the Target Right, Mr. President

The President has spent a lot of rhetorical energy (what other kind is available in the White House?) on how the GOP's deregulatory changes are at the roots of the Gulf oil disaster.

Wrong, sir!

BP is a British company and not subject to American regulations. The disaster occurred in international waters, where United States law and regulations do not apply.

If you're going to blame someone, start with the right country of origin and location, Mr. President.

The last three major offshore disasters, off Nova Scotia in the 70s, and off Scotland in the 80s, and this one, were all BP. Better talk to the Labor Party's leaders, or to the current British PM. No American rig has been involved in a disaster since Santa Barbara in 1969.


Sir Vicks said...

Yo. In good faith I have been told that International law recognizes that a country owns its surrounding waters out to a distance of 200 miles. The leaking BP wellhead is 50 miles offshore. Does this change the way that the British government is involed in this? Should we still grab Transocean and Halliburton?

Wonker, aka TerryP said...

Actual territorial waters still only extend 12 miles out, believe it or not. From that point, for the next 12 miles (presumably nautical miles), a nation may enforce "territorial interest" in certain enumerated areas. From this point, out to the 200 mile limit, a given nation still exercises exclusive "sole exploitation rights" over natural resources, from oil to fishing. So we're in sticky legal waters, Sir Vick. The well in question is in waters governed by US interests. On the other hand, strictly speaking, it's not exactly US territory either. There's a good primer on this at wikipedia, link:

Bottom line: BP screwed up big time. But the amateurs in the Obama administration have turned a disaster into a catastrophe by focusing on extortion and propaganda points rather than on solving the problem first and pointing fingers later. I am seriously wondering if we're going to have much of a country left by the time the 2012 elections roll around. So much for "hope and change."