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It is true that you have waited too long to assertively respond and intervene in this catastrophe. However, the time is now and much can still be accomplished. You might argue that if you increase your involvement that it will no longer be BP's problem but your problem. I would argue that it is already your problem and you might as well move to a position where you can do something to respond rather than stand by as an observer.

Dear President Obama,
With the fierce urgency of now, I am writing to you about the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. With all due respect I would like to make some suggestions for you and for your adminstration to improve your response to this serious situation. I am a supporter of you and your adminstration and I am an avid reader, listener, viewer of all things political.

1)Appoint a special prosecutor to investigate BP, Transocean and Haliburton and to file if necessary criminal charges against any and all of these companies. Eric Holder has too many ties to the Oil Industry from his previous law firm position. This situation is a crime on so many levels and with criminal prosection, it will be easier to get BP to pay for all the damages to the people and to the environment.

2)Hold frequent press conferences as if we were at war or responding to a terrorist act. You should be at as many of these as possible. Hold Press Conferences and Town Hall meetings on the Gulf Coast as often as possible.. At each conference, different members of the Adminstration should be available to discuss their area of responsiblity.

3)Promote at these press events, the positive things that your administration have already accomplished in response to the situation. Not so much a self congratulatory mode but more an informational way. Consult with a PR firm or tap the talent in your adminstration to get assistance on communicating these interventions. Communicaton should  simple, understandable and memorable. Many positive things have already been accomplished but have not been communicated.

4)Explain at the conferences or though other media opportunities where  to place responsiblity for this situation. The obvious ones of course are Transocean, BP and Haliburton. However, I am thinking of how GW Bush damaged governmental agencies by puting industry and corporate individuals to oversee and regulate various departments. I am thinking of the Republicans Senators who have put a hold on raising the amount of liability for damages.I am thinking of the many people waiting to be confirmed  by the Senate so that they can begin work in your Administration. Finally, I am thinking of those who support "small" government and neglect the need for a government of the correct size that will be able to function efficiently and respond effectively to situations such as these.  

3)Harness the outrage and energy of the people and connect it environment organizations and governmental agencies and begin or increase work on the protection and cleaning of the shoreline and the mitigation of the oil in the Gulf. Take the clean up away from BP. It would say take it all away from BP if possible but there seem to be reasons that BP retain the fixing of well. If so, leave them to continue to contain the spill and stop the eruption. Partner up the citizenry with the Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, Boy Scouts, Unions -- partner them with governmental agencies like FEMA, the Navy and National Guard. Put them to work on the land and on the water.Have BP fund the clean up. Put someone with charisma and stature in charge like Al Gore to work with a Navy Commander to organize the clean up effort.  

  1. Clean out the Department of the Interior starting with Ken Salazar-- this may have to wait a bit.
  1. Be candid, honest and humble in all your interactions and communications. Admit where errors and mistakes were made. Call out those who need to be exposed, shamed, fired, prosecuted.

It is true that you have waited too long to assertively respond and intervene in this catastrophe. However, the time is now and much can still be accomplished. You might argue that if you increase your involvement that it will no longer be BP's problem but your problem. I would argue that it is already your problem and you might as well move to a position where you can do something to respond rather than stand by as an observer.

Again I am one of your supporters. I stand in admiration of the many things you have accomplished in your first months and how many problematic situation that you have had to handle in these few months.
I submit my suggestions with great respect.

Originally posted to cybernun on Wed May 26, 2010 at 11:23 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  1,2,3,4, then 3, 4 again finally 5 should be 7 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NamelessGenXer

    the second 4 should be 6 and the second 3 should be 5

  •  Thank you, Monday morning quarterback. (6+ / 0-)

    Everyone's the expert.  

  •  I still don't understand (3+ / 0-)

    how holding frequent press conferences and throwing temper tantrums constitutes "assertively responding and intervening"?

    And how will all this speechifying STOP the FRIKKEN Oil leak a mile under the sea???

    •  it won't do anything about the leak (0+ / 0-)

      this is more about perception than anything...

      all the town halls would do is make people think the government is doing something.

      the government has no ability to stop the leak or clean up the oil any faster than it's already being done.

  •  How about just a comment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease, laker

    that says BP does not control US public waters or land, and if anyone says you can't be on public property by order of BP, you can sink their little boat.

    Everything you know is wrong. Firesign Theatre -5.13/-3.38

    by Grannus on Thu May 27, 2010 at 03:20:24 AM PDT

    •  Even if they're security guards hired by BP (0+ / 0-)

      to keep non-essential boat/foot traffic out of traumatized areas to avoid making the problem worse?  Even if BP hired them to do that because the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries told BP that's what they should do?

      •  How about some essential boat traffic? (0+ / 0-)

        There's been none of that. Ask the pelicans.

        It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

        by Fishgrease on Thu May 27, 2010 at 05:25:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wildlife/Fisheries/EPA etc are trying to figure (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          second gen

          out what to do.  Remember -- the ground in the marsh is soft.  When you go into the marsh whether by boat or on foot -- you push oil deeper into the mud.

          Some environmental scientists issued a report last week that said it might be best just to leave it alone and let nature take care of it -- that attempting to clean it might do more harm than good.  So -- the reason you don't see anybody working there is that they'd decided it might be safest to leave it alone unless and until they figure out a viable way to clean it.

          Did you see that Len Bahr (a marine scientist who's advised several La governors) said he thinks that some folks are trying to use this to get BP to pay for barriers they've had planned for 3 years?  And it's surely not BP that's keeping them building it -- it's the NOAA and the Army Corps of Engineers because of concerns that it would not only do further harm but as planned -- it would cause a shift in tide that would send oil to Mississippi's shores.

          And while I have your attention -- you may want to research that "booming school" thing a bit more. Your idea doesn't work well on Gulf shores -- choppy waters and big waves and all that -- so that's why you hardly see anybody doing it that way.  Otherwise -- I've appreciated quite of bit of your input regarding those things are pretty standard.

          •  What's "my idea"? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Grannus

            I said there are lots of variations. I know a crew down there right now who are doing it right. They, like me, wonder why it took them so long to be called in.

            And yes, there's some places you just can't boom. It's true.

            It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

            by Fishgrease on Thu May 27, 2010 at 06:42:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  These guys are down there now (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Grannus

            This is an EPA pdf

            So there's some good boom being floated, finally. I don't need to "research my idea" because I learned it from them... and they invented it.

            It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

            by Fishgrease on Thu May 27, 2010 at 06:58:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Why advertise calm water methods -- then? (0+ / 0-)

              I know you're aware that because you have been very helpful to many of us -- including me -- and even ahead of the engineers working on it regarding that first dome attempt -- people have come to trust your opinion.  Look at how you worded your "boom school."   You didn't qualify it -- tell people that's what works in some environments -- or tell them on the Gulf in some places it might help a little but it wouldn't keep it all out.  

              You led people to believe that's what all the boom should have looked like.  You didn't bother to differentiate between containment boom and sorbent boom -- so -- they see "boom" and compare it to what you said.  You told them it has to be maintained -- but you didn't tell them there have been weather conditions that ripped boom and dragged it off.  You didn't tell them that boom isn't necessarily extremely durable.  You didn't tell them that these same weather conditions would have also grounded crews for a while.  So -- per you -- they think crews just carelessly allowed the boom to float off.

              Because of your diaries -- people believe that you could have stopped oil from getting in the marsh.  Why didn't you tell them that the oil in the marsh didn't come in as surface oil that anybody could see or that boom could have halted?  Why didn't you tell people it was emulsified oil being carried well below surface that wasn't discovered until it showed up in the marsh?

              I've lived all but 2 years of my 49 on the Gulf where as I'm sure you know -- spills happen more often than national news reflects.   I'm walking distance from the last significant spill down here.  I was trying to explain to somebody very recently that containment boom can't keep oil off the shore because the surface height of boom is no match for the waves -- and they insisted I had no idea what I was talking about -- that I should check out your diaries.

              The situation is bad enough without information that adds further confusion.  When you began writing -- I looked forward to your input.  I thought you would be a reasonable and responsible "resident expert."  It's not too late for you to prove I was right about you.  

      •  BP (0+ / 0-)

        does not control US territory.  I can hire security guards to patrol the capital and keep Republicans off of Congressional grounds.  Is it legal?  No.  Private corporations do not have control over public areas, no matter how much they wish.  Can they keep people away from their lease?  Yes.  The marshes of Louisiana? No.

        Everything you know is wrong. Firesign Theatre -5.13/-3.38

        by Grannus on Thu May 27, 2010 at 01:30:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe that's why they had coast guard support. (0+ / 0-)

          There were 2 security guards and 2 coast guardsmen there.  One of the security guards said "BP"...whatever.  If the federal government instructs BP to hire and post guards -- then the guards are actually there by US government orders -- not BP's.

          The reporters certainly could have asked somebody for clarification before running with the speculation that BP was acting on it's own to try to hide something.

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