The great thing about presidential commissions is that they can soberly consider complicated matters and then offer unvarnished reports on what to do. The tough part is when that information rockets around Washington, as occurred after a White House commission issued its final report on the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Tales from the Trail
Oil caused the mess in the Gulf of Mexico. Should U.S. oil royalties pay for scientists to study what happened, and what’s still happening, to this complex environment?
From Ernest Scheyder in LAROSE, La.:
At a civic center here, newly appointed oil fund administrator Ken Feinberg tried to put to rest concerns that the claims process is inefficient and learn more about the region’s unique economy.
Shakespeare definitely put it best, in that famous balcony scene from “Romeo and Juliet”: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” But what if the original smell wasn’t so great? Will a name change make a difference?
Congressional Democrats are quickly trying to cash in on Joe Barton, the Republican lawmaker with ties to the oil industry who apologized to BP on national TV.
To underscore how seriously he is taking the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama has chosen to make his nationwide address on the environmental disaster his first speech from the Oval Office, a setting presidents typically reserve for the gravest occasions — President George W. Bush spoke from there after the September 11 attacks, President Bill Clinton announced air strikes on Iraq, and President Ronald Reagan chose the Oval to talk about the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger.