TODAY'S QUESTION: Who should be accountable for oil spill cleanup?

Friday, May 28, 2010 | 2:13 p.m. CDT; updated 1:00 p.m. CDT, Thursday, June 10, 2010

It has been several weeks since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig collapsed and left thousands of gallons of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico. Several times BP attempted to stop the leak, and several times the U.S. government claimed it had control of the situation and was not letting the oil companies call the shots, but many seem to doubt the validity of the last statement.

At a news conference Thursday, President Barack Obama worked to rebuild his slightly tarnished image and address the public's complaints about the way the  administration has handled the Gulf oil spill. 

Obama insisted that his administration has been "in charge" since the Deepwater exploded on April 20, killing 11 crew members, according to an article from the Washington Post. Yet many critics argued that the government's response was slow and unsuccessful in prompting BP to act in a timely manner.

After several weeks of failed attempts to seal the leak, an estimated 30 million gallons of oil have spilled into the Gulf. This spill is now estimated, according to an article by The New York Times, to be almost three times larger than the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska.

Many have argued that oil companies have become too powerful for the government to rein in and are now the ones calling the shots; even Obama admitted that the government lacks the technology to properly address the situation. As a result, it seems that BP has been left in charge of the clean up, but the oil giant seems to be stumbling to clean up its mess.

Is it time for the federal government to take control, or should this oil leak be BP's mess to clean up?

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Gregg Bush May 29, 2010 | 7:40 a.m.

He who drilled it - spilled it.

(Report Comment)
Cecily Stephens May 29, 2010 | 9:15 a.m.

Taxpayers have always ended up footing the bill for oil spills (in many more ways than one). This has to end NOW. Contact your representatives and support HR 5355.

(Report Comment)
michael faludi May 29, 2010 | 3:36 p.m.

In my view for the first 48 hrs of spill PB is responsible, for the following 24 days(and counting)the US government is fully responsible. The article states "Several times BP attempted to stop the leak" and that is simple not true. All BP did is trying to collect the spilling oil not to close the hole and the US agreed to it. "the U.S. government claimed it had control of the situation" says the article. And they want the damn oil! The Russians had five similar oil leaks in the past, and they just plugged them with explosions, then started drilling again close by. That is what should have happened by Obama's overruling presidential order.

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance May 30, 2010 | 9:40 a.m.

Sorry Michael,

The US is not in the business of cleaning the messes of foreign oil companies. I am so sick and tired of hearing about oil companies, flush with BILLIONS in cash, not able to clean up their messes. Time to stop the corporate bailouts, you know Micheal, the ones that most Obama critics hate.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking May 30, 2010 | 10:36 p.m.

Does anyone have any insight into how difficult BP's job is here? They are dealing with a new oil field gusher(google "Macondo Prospect" for more info) a *MILE* under the sea. I don't think they've done a bad job considering that.

Next time you mindlessly start your car, think about this leak. It happened as a consequence of enabling you to mindlessly start your car, and us Americans wanting an endless, abundant supply of cheap petroleum. Do you want this not to happen anymore? Destroy the demand for petroleum products.


(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 31, 2010 | 11:29 a.m.

As is usually the case, Mark, I agree with your comments on this matter.

The present disaster has caused me to consider another aspect of petroleum exploration and recovery. In this petroleum guzzling country with a large number of universities and colleges we have LESS THAN 20 accredited Petroleum Engineering programs.

There was a time when whether in North America or around the world, photos taken of Petroleum Engineers on the job showed lots of U. S. nationals. Now they don't! It's not because petroleum companies don't hire Americans, but because America isn't meeting the demand. But for Americans who matriculate in Petroleum Engineering their starting salaries with only a BS degree are as much as $100K (more than some college and university faculty with PhD degrees).

We live in a strange world. One Petroleum Engineering program is located in Missouri, but not at MU.

(Report Comment)

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