- Law Cases
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 3, 2010) — An explosion on an oil rig on April 22, 2010 which resulted in a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has resulted in the expansion of the Department of the Interior and a statement from the putative president indicating that SWAT teams, which are normally used in apprehending criminals and protecting foreign dignitaries, will be dispatched to the scene:
Earlier today, DHS Secretary Napolitano announced that this incident is of national significance and the Department of Interior has announced that they will be sending SWAT teams to the Gulf to inspect all platforms and rigs. And I have ordered the Secretaries of Interior and Homeland Security as well as Administrator Lisa Jackson of the Environmental Protection Agency to visit the site on Friday to ensure that BP and the entire U.S. government is doing everything possible, not just to respond to this incident, but also to determine its cause. And I’ve been in contact with all the governors of the states that may be affected by this accident.
According to a report today, members of the Obama regime are predicting a catastrophic fallout from the event, and speculation as to whether or not any offshore drilling, which had been “approved” by Obama on the Atlantic coast, will occur at all. On March 31, Obama had stated that an increase in offshore oil drilling would help “short-term economic needs.” Others who might have supported such measures are also reconsidering.
Originally the Coast Guard stated that there was no oil leaking from the rig following the explosion. A report dated April 27, 2010 stated that 42,000 gallons of oil each day are leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.
Obama has termed the accident the “BP oil spill.” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, “We will keep a boot on the throat of BP.” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar was also reported as having said, “Our job is to keep the boot on the neck of BP.”
The Department of the Interior website contains a subpage on the National Park Service, which states that SWAT teams for the United States Park Police have been in existence since 1975 and that they engage in training, provide escorts for foreign dignitaries, apprehend criminals, and seek “new innovative ways to safely and effectively protect the visitors to our National Treasures.” There is nothing which might suggest that SWAT teams might have the expertise to inspect oil rigs or offshore equipment.
A statement from the Department of the Interior today on the oil spill reads:
The National Response Team (NRT), an organization of 16 federal departments and agencies responsible for coordinating emergency preparedness and response to oil and hazardous substance pollution incidents was quickly activated and a coordinated group of federal partners-including the United States Coast Guard, Departments of Homeland Security, Commerce, Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency-immediately began directing and overseeing BP’s response.
On April 30, the Department of the Interior created a new department named the “Outer Continental Shelf Safety Oversight Board,” which “will provide recommendations regarding interim measures that may enhance OCS safety and recommendations for improving and strengthening the Department’s overall management, regulation and oversight of OCS operations.”
The Department then made the following statement:
In this eleventh day of the massive, coordinated response to the Deepwater Horizon incident, we must continue to do everything we can to oversee and support BP’s efforts to stop and clean up the oil that is spilling from the well head. At the same time, we must take aggressive action to verify the safety of other offshore oil and gas operations, further tighten our oversight of industry’s practices, and take a careful look at all the questions that this disaster is raising.
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Tags: British Petroleum, Coast Guard, Deepwater Horizon, Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, Exxon Valdez, Gulf of Mexico, National Park Service, Obama, Outer Continental Shelf Safety Oversight Board, SWAT teams