President Obama, who was widely criticized for a slow response to the environmentally disastrous gulf oil spill last spring, was quick to respond Sunday and claim credit for the final sealing of the troublesome well.
“Today,” the Democrat announced, “we achieved an important milestone in our response to the BP oil spill.”
After an April 20 fire and explosion that killed 11 oil platform workers, the deep-sea well spewed more than 4 million barrels of crude oil into the gulf during the next 87 days. BP engineers capped the mile-deep well July 15. This weekend BP crews using the relief well, mud and cement succeeded in sealing the well.
But in a two-paragraph special White House statement issued Sunday morning before some more golf, the president could find no words to praise or even acknowledge by name the BP drillers and relief crews who did the actual capping and sealing work.
Instead Obama praised — actually he commended — several members of his own cabinet and administration including Janet Napolitano of Homeland Security, Stephen Chu of Energy and Ken Salazar of Interior; also Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, White House climate czar Carol Browner, Jane Lubchenco, administrator of his National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and federal scientists and engineers.