The chaos along the Gulf Coast, caused mainly by the vacillation of the federal government, continues apace. The Fish and Wildlife Service has now stopped the building of sand berms designed to protect the Gulf Coast from the oil leak.
According to WDSU:
“The federal government is shutting down the dredging that was being done to create protective sand berms in the Gulf of Mexico.
“The berms are meant to protect the Louisiana coastline from oil. But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department has concerns about where the dredging is being done.”
The federal government has suddenly decided that the sand berm needs to be built two miles farther from the coast.
Two months into the BP oil leak disaster, this development, along with the incident involving the Coast Guard and oil skimming barges, suggests that the Gulf Coast operation is still in chaos, with no one and everyone in charge, and various federal bureaucracies and state governments tripping over one another and getting in each others’ way.
In the meantime, the oil leak continues to pump millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane season has begun, with the nightmarish prospect of a large storm blowing oiled waters far inland adding to the ordinary destruction that a hurricane usually causes.
President Barack Obama, who once listed among his campaign promises the healing of the Earth and the stopping of the rise of the oceans, seems pitiful and helpless before the prospect of both Earth and ocean being under threat. State and local officials along the Gulf Coast, many of whom have shown leadership during the crisis, are begging the President of the United States to step up. So far, there has been rhetoric in the place of action.
Approval to build the sand berms, which should have taken days, instead took weeks. President Obama refused help from Dutch and British oil skimming barges that might have mitigated the disaster from the beginning. Indeed, the actions of the federal government seem to be those of an entity that is deliberately impeding the cleanup and protection of the Gulf Coast from the oil disaster.
This suggests one of two troubling scenarios. Either we have a president who is so overwhelmed by the various crises that have erupted on his watch and is somehow too incompetent to act. Or, more sinisterly, we have a president who is actually making the disaster work for a larger political end.
What is that end? To ram home the idea that off-shore drilling of oil is too dangerous to be allowed and, thus, should be ended permanently? In other times, under other presidents, that last idea would have seemed crazy. But, under the regime of President Obama, the crazy has become the ordinary.
Federal Gov’t Halts Sand Berm Dredging, WDSU, June 23rd, 2010
Coast Guard Halts Louisiana Barge Oil Cleanup Operation for Inspections, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, June 18th, 2010