Even the New York Times says that the Oil Spill problem is in part due to the slow Obama administration response

Even this relatively moderate criticism is in the Saturday newspaper, which is where you want to bury information. So will the NY Times raise the word "Katrina."

BP Is Criticized Over Oil Spill, but U.S. Missed Chances to Act
Published: May 1, 2010
As oil edged toward the Louisiana coast and fears continued to grow that the leak from a seabed oil well could spiral out of control, the White House announced that President Obama would visit the region on Sunday morning.

Officials did not provide additional details. Mr. Obama, who was in Michigan on Saturday morning to give a commencement address, is scheduled to return to Washington for the White House Correspondents Dinner that evening.

His administration has publicly chastised BP America for its handling of the spreading oil gusher, yet a review of the response suggests it may be too simplistic to place all the blame for the unfolding environmental catastrophe on the oil company. The federal government also had opportunities to move more quickly, but did not do so while it waited for a resolution to the spreading spill from BP.

The Department of Homeland Security waited until Thursday to declare that the incident was “a spill of national significance,” and then set up a second command center in Mobile, Ala. The actions came only after the estimate of the size of the spill was increased fivefold to 5,000 barrels a day.

The delay meant that the Homeland Security Department waited until late this week to formally request a more robust response from the Department of Defense, with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano acknowledging even as late as Thursday afternoon that she did not know if the Defense Department even had equipment that might be helpful. . . .

The Christian Science Monitor is fairly skeptical of the government reports.

As estimates of the spill increase, questions about the government's honesty in assessing the spill are emerging. . . . A government report obtained by the Mobile, Ala., Press-Register explains that "choke points" in the crumpled riser are controlling the flow from the so-called Macondo well at Lease Block 252 in the Mississippi Canyon. But scrubbing action from sand in the oil is further eroding the pipe. There are likely tens of millions of gallons in the deposit that BP tapped with the Deepwater Horizon.

"The following is not public," reads National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Emergency Response document dated April 28, according to the Press-Register. "Two additional release points were found today. If the riser pipe deteriorates further, the flow could become unchecked resulting in a release volume an order of magnitude higher than previously thought."
An order of magnitude is a factor of 10.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that John Amos, an oil industry consultant, said that NOAA revised its original estimate of 1,000 barrels after he published calculations based on satellite data that showed a larger flow.

The 5,000 barrels a day is the "extremely low end" of estimates, Mr. Amos told the Journal.

"There's a range of uncertainty, and it's very difficult to accurately gauge how much there is," BP spokesman John Curry told the Journal.

UPDATE: Never mind that Bush flew over Katrina the second day after the hurricane hit and that Obama took eight days to react, at least the Politico says that there are "Shades of Katrina in oil spill politics."

Fox News host Sean Hannity said the slow response to the spill came from “the very same people who were so fast to criticize George W. Bush.” Former Ark. Gov. Mike Huckabee, appearing on Hannity’s show, said that "If Katrina was George Bush's responsibility, this is Barack Obama's responsibility."

The White House pushed back hard on that line of attack Saturday, and so far anyway, the spill is far less serious than Katrina — not least because of the hurricane's massive death toll and its devastation of New Orleans. And the storm, unlike the leak, came with advance warning.

But Obama's team also appears mindful of the comparisons of the two situations - both affecting the Gulf Coast and requiring a significant federal response, including a visit by the president himself - and has been sending out numerous emails detailing the aggressive steps they’ve taken since the spill occurred to head off any linkage in the public mind. . . .

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