Obama's Gulf Oil Spill Commission and the Missing Experts

Instead of an oil spill commission staffed with experts, as promised in his Oval Office address, the president has announced a panel with membership that reads like a Who's Who of radical environmentalism. Former Senator Graham of Florida, for example, has consistently pushed for a ban on oil drilling, and Frances Beinecke of the National Resources Defense Council has argued for the global warming agenda -- including linking "global poverty" to global warming, an argument used at the Copenhagen conference to support reparations to be paid to nations such as Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe for our supposed global crimes.

In fact, if you peruse the names of the council members, there isn't a single expert in oil drilling, oil platform rigs, or petroleum engineering. The panel's membership doesn't even include a single oil drilling company executive, or even a field engineer. In fact, the only technical-minded person on the commission at all is Cherry Murray, Dean of Harvard's Engineering School. Murray has had a long and distinguished academic career at all of the "right" schools, but she has absolutely nothing in her resume to indicate that she has the slightest knowledge about petroleum exploration. When it comes to academics, there isn't even one professor that specializes in petroleum exploration despite the plethora of possible names that could be drawn from institutions such as the prestigious Colorado School of Mines.

In addition to the shocking lack of engineering and petroleum drilling experience on the panel, there isn't a single person with experience in investigation or forensic science. When we consider that the actual Deepwater Horizon rig is at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, we might expect to see an expert in deepwater salvage on the commission, but that expertise is also lacking.

In fact, the only thing this council is qualified to do is to put forth an alternative energy policy as a "solution" to oil drilling in general. Although that outcome would certainly please Obama and the Democrats looking for political cover to pass "Cap and Trade," the panel wouldn't be even remotely qualified to "offer recommendations on what additional safety and environmental standards we need to put in place."

What the commission should be charged with is finding answers, not providing political cover for the environmentalist agenda. Regardless of what you believe about global warming, there are more pressing questions that need to be answered. We need to know what exactly happened on the rig to cause the explosion. If faulty equipment or procedures were at fault, we need to find out how that equipment got past testing and who authorized its installation. We need to find out why the safety regulations were waived on the BP platform and who waived them. In addition, we need to find out why the fire was put out on the rig rather than allowing the oil to burn off. And who had the bright idea to spray several thousand gallons of water at a floating, burning ship, thus sinking it to the bottom of the gulf and snapping the riser pipe it was connected to?

Not the least of the questions that need to be answered is the nature of the money trail in relation to this disaster. We need to find out what the connection is between George Soros and Tony Podesta is in relation to the disaster. Soros stands to make billions from the offshore drilling ban, and Tony Podesta is the main lobbyist for BP and brother to John Podesta at Soros' Center for American Progress. In every other investigation, the police will follow the money, but in this case, it is being brushed off and ignored. Were safety regulations and quality slowly eroded to create a ticking time bomb in the Gulf? All of these questions should be put to the test and answered.

Finally, we need to know why it is that these questions are not being investigated and answered. When terrorists slammed two planes into the World Trade Center, the government left no stone unturned to find out the causes of the disaster. However, when the lives of millions in the Gulf are being turned upside-down by the biggest ecological disaster of our time, the government isn't interested in answers, but only politics?

The eleven who lost their lives on the rig are not being granted the most basic justice given to any worker killed on a job in the USA. Their names and faces are being coated with oil and politics. If the Obama administration had any sense of ethical responsibility, the commission would be staffed with experts and investigators looking for answers, not environmentalists looking to impose their agenda on the American people.