As I’ve been driving cross country and reading about the Oil Spill (and occasionally getting some information from various news or broadcast networks), a number of things have struck me, notably the number of federal regulations making it difficult for those ready and willing to help provide relief or stop the leak and contain its spread to do so.
We’ve read about the Jones Act which limits the ability of foreign-owned ships to help out. Of course, a signature from the president could waive that in the present crisis. I’m sure our readers can quickly come up with other areas where regulation or bureaucratic inertia has delayed (or prevented) assistance from getting through.
This morning, Glenn Reynolds linked a piece on Bureaucracy Standing In The Way Of Oil Spill Clean Up Efforts. This is where the energetic executive comes in. The president should be doing what he can to cut through the bureaucracy, wiling to step on toes with the primary goal of stopping the leak and limiting its spread. In short, it is executive action which is key at the present moment — not legislative initiatives.
And yet, President Obama saw fit to use this, um, well, “crisis” to push passage of Cap and Trade. That he would use his Oval Office Address to that end shows just how clueless he is, particularly about the power of his office.
He should be using the tools at his disposal to cut through bureaucracy instead of asking another branch of government to expand it.