Amid Negative Polls, Obama Sent More Manpower to Gulf, Hindering Response

By
Wednesday, October 06, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Responding to polls that suggested the American people believed the federal government was not adequately responding to the oil spill, President Obama announced in May that he would triple oil spill response resources. That decision, a draft report from the national oil spill commission says, may have actually hindered the government’s response to the spill.

According to the report, which was today released in conjunction with three other draft staff reports by the spill commission, the Obama directive may have actually confused the spill response, throwing more manpower at an already complicated operation.

The report says:

Responders noted that “tripling” taxed the Coast Guard’s ability to respond and to conduct its other missions and may not have been the most effective use of a thin-spread force in a lengthy campaign. Tripling, or at least the arguable overreaction to the public perception of a slow response, resulted in resources being thrown at the spill in general rather than being targeted in an efficient way.

The Obama directive is just one example contained in today’s report, which give the federal government mixed reviews on its efforts to contain the massive Gulf oil spill. “In some respects, the response effectively implemented the provisions of the [National Contingency Plan] and helped to mitigate the most serious negative impacts of the spill,” the oil spill commission report says. “In other respects, the plan was inadequate to handle the scale of the spill—its magnitude, duration, and effects on many stakeholders.”

The initial response to the spill — the first nine days — was marked by a sense of “over-optimism,” the report says.

Responders almost uniformly noted that, while they understood that they were facing a major spill, they believed that BP would get the well under control. At least one high evel Coast Guard official thought that the oil would not come ashore and hesitated to open additional command posts. Responders viewed the event as an “incident” rather than a “campaign,” which is what it became.

But it’s unclear what impact this over-optimism had on the response. “While it is not clear that this misplaced optimism affected any individual response effort, it may have affected the scale and speed with which national resources were brought to bear,” the oil spill commission report says. “In hindsight, some Coast Guard responders thought that their initial approach was too slow and unfocused.” The report notes however that despite the slow initial response, by mid-June the Coast Guard was “fighting a war against the oil.”

On BP’s involvement in the response, the report suggests that the oil giant may have, in some cases, had more control than the federal government.

The report says:

The organizational charts from the Unified Area Command and the Incident Command Posts show BP employees scattered through the command structure, in roles ranging from waste management to environmental assessment. In some command chains, a BP employee was at the top and a Coast Guard member would report up to the BP employee.

Follow Andrew Restuccia on Twitter


Comments

13 Comments

Tweets that mention Amid Negative Polls, Obama Sent More Manpower to Gulf, Hindering Response « The Washington Independent -- Topsy.com
Pingback posted October 6, 2010 @ 3:17 pm

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Hot About Obama and Andrew Restuccia, WashIndependent. WashIndependent said: Amid Negative Polls, Obama Sent More Manpower to Gulf, Hindering Response http://bit.ly/a3E7YL [...]


US faulted for underestimating Gulf spill – AFP « Contacto Latino News
Pingback posted October 6, 2010 @ 3:55 pm

[...] Blasts Obama Administration Response to Spill ABC News (blog) The Business Insider -The Washington Independent -McClatchy Washington Bureau all 996 news articles » Tags: EnglishPosted [...]


Oil Spill commission Blasts Obama Administration Response to Spill – ABC News (blog)
Pingback posted October 6, 2010 @ 4:27 pm

[...] Oil Spill ResponseThe Business InsiderSpill Panel Faults Obama Response EffortWall Street JournalAmid Negative Polls, Obama Sent More Manpower to Gulf, Hindering ResponseThe Washington IndependentMother Jones (blog) -Firedoglake -Dripping Oil (blog)all 1,022 [...]


Spill Panel Finds US Was Slow to React – Wall Street Journal
Pingback posted October 6, 2010 @ 9:10 pm

[...] The OilNEWS JUNKIE POSTGulf oil spill response ill-managed, presidential panel saysWashington PostThe Washington Independent -Toronto Sun -The Cypress Timesall 730 news [...]


Obama administration strongly criticized in BP oil spill report – AMERICAblog (blog)
Pingback posted October 6, 2010 @ 9:46 pm

[...] Spill Commission Blasts Obama Administration Response to SpillABC News (blog)Washington Post -The Washington Independent -Toronto Sunall 736 news [...]


BP Oil Spill: White House Not Candid On Amount Or Fate Of The Oil – NEWS JUNKIE POST
Pingback posted October 6, 2010 @ 10:47 pm

[...] to SpillABC News (blog)Gulf oil spill response ill-managed, presidential panel saysWashington PostThe Washington Independent -Toronto Sun -The Cypress Timesall 754 news [...]


Presidential panel says response misleading, sluggish, over-optimistic – Houston Chronicle
Pingback posted October 6, 2010 @ 11:54 pm

[...] Spill Commission Blasts Obama Administration Response to SpillABC News (blog)Washington Post -The Washington Independent -Toronto Sunall 762 news [...]


Steve Thompson
Comment posted October 7, 2010 @ 1:21 am

Unfortunately, we seem to be unable to learn from history. Here is the story of the largest blowout in American history which was nearly twice the size of the BP Macondo blowout:

http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2010/07/largest-blowout-in-american-history.html


Panel catalogs many White House missteps on gulf oil spill – Boston Globe
Pingback posted October 7, 2010 @ 3:06 am

[...] Panel Finds US Was Slow to ReactWall Street JournalABC News (blog) -MiamiHerald.com -The Washington Independentall 877 news [...]


Lsx0130
Comment posted October 7, 2010 @ 5:21 am

The ugg types boots are your best choice in this cold winter.


SERVICE OFFERED ON LINE FOR BOOK-KEEPING AND ACCOUNTS( Vadodara, Gujarat, India) | blueclassifiedads.com
Pingback posted October 10, 2010 @ 1:35 am

[...] (DOME) — Across Taiwan5 surefire ways to find and hire a good bookkeeper | 4u-2 ArticlesAmid Negative Polls, Obama Sent More Manpower to Gulf, Hindering Response « The Washington Ind…SERVICE OFFERED ON LINE FOR BOOK-KEEPING AND ACCOUNTSBOOKKEEPING MONEY-SAVING TIP 14 [...]


Money News As It Happens » Blog Archive » manpower
Pingback posted October 12, 2010 @ 11:36 am

[...] Amid Negative Polls, Obama Sent More Manpower to Gulf, Hindering Response – The Washington Ind… Amid Negative Polls, Obama Sent More Manpower to Gulf, Hindering ResponseThe Washington Independent… by the spill commission, the Obama directive may have actually confused the spill response, throwing more manpower at an already complicated operation. …and more » Oct 12, 2010 11:06am [...]


The Webmaster's Ultimate Reseller Package 2010 Edition
Pingback posted November 3, 2010 @ 3:05 am

[...] Emails!  Related Links:Recruitment of various post sin Institute of Applied Manpower …Amid Negative Polls, Obama Sent More Manpower to Gulf, Hindering …Business Development Executives IT Software : Manpower …Female Gynaecologist & Obstetrician [...]


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.