Gulf Backlash Beginning?

The Gulf oil spill is unfolding in slow motion, as oil continues to flow from a mile deep and slowly make its way toward shore. Criticism of the federal response to the spill has been muted, in part because visible consequences of the incident have been slow to appear, and in part because it doesn’t fit the newspapers’ preferred narrative. Today, however, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal went public with criticism of the federal government as well as British Petroleum:

The U.S. Coast Guard and BP failed to take decisions quickly enough and delayed supplying necessary clean-up equipment even as oil washed up onto the state’s fragile marshland, said Governor Bobby Jindal, who said he was “frustrated” by the slow pace of the response.

Watch for criticism of the Obama administration to intensify as the oil begins to foul the shore and as its impact on fishing and other natural resources is felt. So far, what would seem to be a remarkable lack of preparedness on the part of the federal government has gone virtually unreported on.
Speaking of oil spills, my partner Brian O’Neill had a good column in the Washington Post called “How to sue an oil company.”

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