Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Obama's politics trump science (at least on oil)

From the editorialists of the WSJ...

They begin by quoting President Obama from 4/27/09:
"Under my Administration, the days of science taking a back seat to ideology are over. . . To undermine scientific integrity is to undermine our democracy. . . I want to be sure that facts are driving scientific decisions, and not the other way around."

Then, they respond:

The President has appointed a seven-person commission to take what he says will be an objective look at what caused the Gulf spill and the steps to make offshore drilling safe. But judging from the pedigree of his commissioners, we're beginning to wonder if his real goal is to turn drilling into a partisan election issue....he's loaded up on politicians and environmental activists.

From there, they detail the (telling) backgrounds of the seven, before continuing:

Whatever their other expertise, none of these worthies knows much if anything about petroleum engineering. Where is the expert on modern drilling techniques, or rig safety, or even blowout preventers?

The choice of men and women who are long opposed to more drilling suggests not a fair technical inquiry but an anti-drilling political agenda....

Even as this commission moves forward, engineering experts across the country have agreed that there is no scientific reason for a blanket drilling ban....Judging from that decision and now from Mr. Obama's drilling commission, the days of "science taking a back seat to ideology" are very much with us.


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