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June 14, 2010

Obama administration backtracks on refusal of foreign assistance in Gulf oil spill

Topics: Political News and commentaries

Obama la times.jpgAfter more than a month of bad press and more than a dozen nations having long offered to send assistance to the Gulf of Mexico to contain the damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon blowout, the Obama administration has finally and suddenly decided to quietly backtrack and accept the foreign assistance.

From The Washington Post: The White House is going to the EU to finally ask for some help after millions of gallons have spilled into the water:

Four weeks after the nation's worst environmental disaster, the Obama administration saw no need to accept offers of state-of-the-art skimmers, miles of boom or technical assistance from nations around the globe with experience fighting oil spills...

"We'll let BP decide on what expertise they do need," State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid told reporters on May 19. "We are keeping an eye on what supplies we do need. And as we see that our supplies are running low, it may be at that point in time to accept offers from particular governments."

That time has come.

In the past week, the United States submitted its second request to the European Union for any specialized equipment to contain the oil now seeping onto the Gulf of Mexico's marshes and beaches, and it accepted Canada's offer of 9,842 feet of boom. The government is soliciting additional boom and skimmers from nearly two dozen countries and international organizations.

In late May, the administration accepted Mexico's offer of two skimmers and 13,779 feet of boom; a Dutch offer of three sets of Koseq sweeping arms, which attach to the sides of ships and gather oil; and eight skimming systems offered by Norway.

"As we understand what we need and identify domestic and foreign sources, we will act," said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, who said the United States has received 21 aid offers from 17 countries and four international groups. "We are maintaining contact with these countries, we are grateful for the offers, and we will take them up on these offers."

But some lawmakers and outside experts are questioning whether the administration has been too slow to capitalize on these offers, lulled by BP's estimates on the oil flow rate and on its capacity to cope with the aftermath of the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig...

Read it all ...

The question that remains unanswered is why did Barack Obama wait until the crisis has run out of control? The answer more likely than not lies with a combination of Barack Obama's total lack of management experience, and hubris.

Think about it. As for Obama's lack of executive management experience, before being elected to the presidency, he never managed anything but a campaign, and his campaign manager did most of it. As for hubris, he is the poster child for the very definition of the word hubris and has exhibited it throughout his presidency and especially during the oil spill:

".. extreme haughtiness or arrogance. ... indicates being out of touch with reality and overestimating one's own competence or capabilities, especially for people in positions of power."
Which of course begs the question: What's wrong with Barack Obama?

H/t - Ed Morrissey

Related must-read: Steve Hayward and Ken Green have written an invaluable primer on the oil spill and the perils of overreacting to it. As Jonah Goldberg suggests, it's full of data and sober analysis.

Other related: Anyone have Tony Hayward's BP number? Why Obama couldn't be bothered calling the CEO

Posted by Richard at June 14, 2010 12:35 PM

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