Letters to the Editor

Policies, actions don't help crisis

I have seen two reports on TV that cause me to believe our bureaucracy in Washington, D.C., is making the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico even worse. I saw Gov. Sarah Palin state in an interview that the "disaster plan" that was submitted by BP and approved by the Materials Management Service for any well malfunction during their drilling was simply the "boilerplate" from a plan that had already been approved for an Alaska well. Her point was that the "boilerplate" specifically mentioned walruses and sea otters, and neither of these species are found in the Gulf but are indigenous to Alaska. Alaska has no deep-water drilling like that in the Gulf that I am aware of, so this says to me that the plan submitted by BP for the Gulf drilling wasn't specifically designed to deal with the conditions that exist 1 mile deep in the Gulf but was simply re-used by BP to get approval. Did the MMS even read the proposal? If so, how is it that no career employee who deals with these proposals all the time didn't catch that walruses and sea otters don't exist in the Gulf and didn't question the validity of this plan? Also, is this perhaps why President Obama's director of the Materials Management Service resigned and left, or was fired, within the first week after the explosion?

The other thing I saw was "The Mike Huckabee Show." There were several ideas demonstrated for simple products that could help in the cleanup of the oil spill. These are all available for purchase and immediate use, and only one of these developers had even been contacted by BP or the U.S. government to date. It would seem to me that with a disaster of this magnitude any idea would be sought out and looked at immediately to prevent further damage. We are at Day 54 and I have to ask, "President Obama, where is your leadership? Make-work photo-ops just aren't enough."

The writer lives in Conway.