Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Blog Congress Blamed for BP Spill

Fran UlmerCongress Blamed for BP Spill

UW alumna blames Congress for BP spill

By Kelly Kallien

Congress is to blame for the inefficient cleanup efforts of the BP Oil Spill in April 2010, according to Fran Ulmer, UW-Madison graduate and former Chancellor of the University of Alaska-Anchorage.

Ulmer said the effects of The Macondo Drill explosion, which resulted in 11 casualties and devastated the Gulf of Mexico, are ongoing, despite faded media coverage.

The explosion occurred after a series of security failures and continued to spew oil for the following three months.

Ulmer said Congress continues to fail in providing the band-aid to “an ongoing bleeding that couldn’t be stopped”.

“Congress needs to step up to the plate and do something about this disaster,” she said.

According to Ulmer, the government has spent too much time finger pointing instead of cleaning the spill.

She said BP spill cleanup efforts lacked the efficiency of previous oil spill cleanups such as the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Ulmer attributed the lack of efficiency to the power-hungry mindset Congress has developed over the years.

“It just seems that in this period, [for Congress] it’s more about positioning yourself than it is about solving problems,” Ulmer said.

In May 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Ulmer to The National Commission on the BP Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill and Off Shore Drilling: a group of seven experts to help prevent future spills.

Her solution is to adopt more efficient disaster response strategies mimicking those in countries with respectable drilling records, such as Norway, Austria and Great Britain.

In these countries, each step of the oil transportation process is overseen by individual groups, whereas in the US one group oversees every step.

Furthermore, Ulmer said oil drill disasters should have their own sector of rescue as opposed to the current response, which is the Coast Guard.

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