My fellow Americans, we gather tonight under a cloud of crisis. A crisis that represents many questions and I must report to you tonight many failures. We have suffered failures of anticipation, judgment, credibility and urgency.
The President must do more to expedite our efforts in the Gulf. He must decentralize decision making to local authorities. The Federal Government should continue to oversee the efforts to cap the well, insure that financial resources are available and that they are delivered to local and regional authorities. The President should immediately sign a blanket Executive Order authorizing full deployment of every available resource. He should vacate regulations such as the Jones Act so that international resources and expertise can be brought to bear. We should have done these things sooner, we should do so now.
There are a number of stories about local authorities who just did what they felt they had to do, with many successes to show for their initiative and hard work. It is generally accepted that a soldier fighting to defend his home is the most dangerous of the breed. I believe that those closest to the crisis will work the hardest and the smartest to mitigate this horrific disaster. Mr. President please cut the red tape.
I agree with the President that BP must be held to account. However the President should commit to lay aside the focus on blame, for the moment. We have time for that later. The President should direct the Justice Department to make the legal argument associated with the political argument less it face a legal reversal in the future. BP should be held to account but they should not be extinguished in the process.
The obvious political advantage here is to use this crisis to promote a legislative agenda. Mr. President obvious is the applicable word here. The President should focus on the immediate circumstances and not attempt to begin the victory parade for Cap & Trade legislation. This legislation is not an answer in any immediate sense, Mr. President we want you to focus on the immediate.
There are inescapable facts at play here. There is logic to the goal of a transition to alternative energy. But, transition is the critical word. The transition required two decades of narrowing dependence on carbon based fuels, in other words oil and coal. There are technology issues, there are efficiency issues, there are cost effectiveness issues and there is return on investment issues.
Mr. President in light of these inescapable facts we urge you to immediately remove the moratorium on production in the Gulf. The cost in jobs is staggering, the cost in avoidable suffering is worse. To limit supply for years to come as you support the massive costs associated with the Cap & Trade legislation create severe questions directed at your commitment to improve the economy.
Blaming a decade of “resistance to regulation” as the motivation at the MME does not explain the endemic incompetence or Secretary Salazar’s failure to address it despite your specific direction.
Mr. President your argument against being economically cautious about green investments at this point in time because we can’t afford not to be cautions is an argument without evidence. It’s not an argument it’s a matter of unsubstantiated faith in unproven ideas. Good ideas in many cases, great potential, but not deployable, not yet.
Will the innovation come, yes Mr. President I believe it will. But we disagree as to the best path to that innovation. Further crippling the economy will not solve the problem. Creating the conditions where innovation meets motivation and opportunity is, I believe where the genius we need will be found.