Congressional hearing on BP embarrassing waste of time…

June 18, 2010

Congressional hearings can be a waste of time, and in fact the one I caught some of today, which will be yesterday by the time most anyone would read this, was embarrassing, if not shameful.

I’m nearly as mad at BP and its CEO Tony Hayward as anyone could be, save those directly affected by his company’s ham handedness or greed and carelessness.

But I think I have to agree with some citizen commentors from the affected areas. What we need to be doing now is get the oil leak stopped — we can sort out the blame and punishment later.

I watched the very opening on the computer and listened to some of it while I was working (driving an 18-wheeler down the road and dropping off and picking up freight). All it was was congressmen asking self-serving loaded questions and they demanded that Hayward answer in a certain way, but like Obama, he kept his cool — he ain’t no fool.

It was like a kangaroo court.

I think we pretty much all realize by now that BP cut corners on safety in the name of profits and they were working in unknown territory, a mile under the sea. While the top guys of other oil companies claimed in earlier testimony they wouldn’t have done things the way BP did, that is easy and convenient for them to say — maybe so, maybe not, they didn’t get caught.

I’m not at all sure that the oil leak can be stopped by man.

I was going to post a blog the other night right after the president’s speech, but due to a computer glitch or my own mistake, added to the fact I had just driven 11 hours, I had to give it up.

But all I was going to say is that I thought something was missing from Obama’s speech, but I could not quite put my finger on it. I had blogged earlier that I thought he should directly address the American people. And at least he did that. And he did promise to put all efforts into fixing the leak and not let up until it is done.

I also now don’t think that speech was the time to politic on alternative energy, even though most political experts would say a crisis should not go wasted. Since alternative energy seems to be such a hot button and divisive issue (what isn’t these days?), I thought it kind of got in the way of the message that he was on the immediate problem at hand.

And beyond all this, I find it puzzling indeed that so many who scoff at environmental concerns and say they are nothing more to barriers to business, now seem to want to blame everything on Obama. It was the policies of primarily Republican administrations (but I suppose Democrats too) that led to such lax safety precautions.

But it is true that for a variety of reasons that this nation must move full speed ahead on the issue of developing alternative energy. I think now that it will take a government program similar to the moon landing project. Private industry can kick in later, but it is not good at long-term research and development. Shareholders are impatient and profit driven (and I suppose somewhat understandably so).

That comment I made about not being sure man can stop the oil leak came as the result of me reading a blog supposedly quoting various engineers — but of course you have to take a lot of what you read, especially on the internet, with a grain of salt, to include this blog, maybe. I try to stick to facts or at least legitimate conjecture, along with a little sarcasm and satire.