There should be only two priorities in the environmental and economic crisis that faces the Coast:
1. Stopping the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
2. Removing the oil already in the Gulf and along its shoreline.
Until those two goals are achieved, anything resembling politics or business as usual is both intolerable and inexcusable. Which leads us to these observations:
President Barack Obama: While no longer missing-in-action, the president has yet to instill confidence in Coast residents that the federal response to the disaster is either adequate or appropriate. It is difficult to see how he is in command of the overall situation, or even any part of it.
The Congress: There has been enough tongue-lashing of BP executives by congressional committees. As energy entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens has said, let the oil industry folks stay on the job until this thing is fixed. There will be plenty of time later to haul them all to the Capitol for inquiry and investigation.
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