Posts Tagged ‘National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling’
June 25th, 2010 at 10:40 am
Obama’s Oil Spill Commission: Long on Activism, Short on Knowledge and Expertise

More than two months after the BP oil spill began in the Gulf, and amid warranted public anger, President Obama still appears more interested in not letting the crisis go to waste than providing the leadership necessary to help “plug the damn hole.”

The latest evidence is outlined in a piece published earlier this week on, authored by Dr. Michael Economides, an energy analyst, petroleum engineer and Editor-in-Chief of Energy Tribune.

Dr. Economides notes that the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, which is charged with providing recommendations on how to prevent and mitigate the impact of future spills,  is “well-stocked with anti-drilling activists and high-ranking officers of environmental groups” and is “devoid of a single expert on oil production or offshore development.”

Take for example Richard Lazarus, the man President Obama appointed Executive Director of the Commission.   As Dr. Economides points out, “Lazarus’ background is far from technical and, perhaps more ominously, far from unbiased. Lazarus is an environmental lawyer who has, in fact, argued 30 cases in front of the Supreme Court on behalf of environmental interests. Quite simply, Lazarus is an incredibly accomplished, incredibly talented opponent of offshore drilling.” 

And, to say that the resumes of the rest of the members on the Commission are thin on any real technical experience would be an understatement. 

The devastating accident in the Gulf was the result of a complex series of events.  Providing real answers should include the work of experts with industry and technical knowledge, rather than just partisan activists.

In addition to appointing a politically motivated Commission, President Obama’s short-sighted moratorium on offshore drilling, now overturned by the courts, was nothing more than a political decision to score political points.  Strangling commerce and the flow of energy in the U.S. would have severe consequences for those already suffering in the Gulf.   Jobs, revenue and entire local communities are at stake. 

The energy industry and the American economy are in a precarious position.  Now is the time to consider smart policy options, not for more political maneuvering. 

Read Dr. Economides’ entire article here.