Welcome to a special edition of New Orleans in the News blog focused on the oil spill and the recovery efforts, and what others in the world are saying about the catastrophe. Earlier this week the LA Times released a controversial story saying New Orleanians are "shrugging" at the oil spill, but now radio host Rush Limbaugh has jumped into the foray with comments that are sure to spark some debate.
First, Limbaugh on Thursday alluded to the oil rig explosion being an inside job:
"I want to get back to the timing of the blowing up, the explosion out there in the Gulf of Mexico of this oil rig. Since they're sending SWAT teams down there now this changes the whole perspective of this. Now, lest we forget, ladies and gentlemen, the carbon tax bill, cap and trade that was scheduled to be announced on Earth Day. I remember that. And then it was postponed for a couple of days later after Earth Day, and then of course immigration has now moved in front of it.
But this bill, the cap-and-trade bill, was strongly criticized by hardcore environmentalist wackos because it supposedly allowed more offshore drilling and nuclear plants, nuclear plant investment. So, since they're sending SWAT teams down there, folks, since they're sending SWAT teams to inspect the other rigs, what better way to head off more oil drilling, nuclear plants, than by blowing up a rig? I'm just noting the timing here."
Later on in the broadcast, Limbaugh said while he doesn't advocate not caring about the oil hitting the shore or the coast, he thinks it's "natural" for the oil to be in the water. Citing his own climatologist, he said the seepage of oil from the floor of the gulf is exactly 5,000 barrels a day -- the same amount that's reportedly been gushing from the leaks each day. While he said it doesn't seep out all in one giant blob like this oil spill has, the bottom line is Alaska, which had the Exxon-Valdez disaster in 1989, is now pristine.
"You do survive these things. I'm not advocating don't care about it hitting the shore or coast and whatever you can do to keep it out of there is fine and dandy, but the ocean will take care of this on its own if it was left alone and was left out there," Limbaugh said. "It's natural. It's as natural as the ocean water is.
"Well, the turtles may take a hit for a while, but so what? So do we!" Limbaugh said. "Just give it a pain pill! Why not? That's what they had for us, and we don't even launch ourselves into the windshields of fire trucks."
Here's what others are saying about the spill:
- The New York Times has an editorial that says while the federal government and the Obama administration is putting the blame on British Petroleum for the oil rig explosion and massive spill, it should also blame itself for a slow response.
- EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson had sobering remarks on the size of the oil spill in a LA Times blog post: “it’s like all five of the Great Lakes and the Great Lakes are oil sheen.”
- According to Bloomberg, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is "confident" they can stop the flow of oil under the gulf. The worst-case scenario is still 90 days.
- USA Today has a nice recap from the Sunday morning political shows on the oil spill, with bits from Obama, Napolitano and more.