And they wondered why we looked askance at putting somebody in office with no executive experience. Byron York points out how the President apparently thought that offshore drilling was ‘absolutely safe’:
There was one particularly striking moment in President Obama’s widely panned Oval Office speech on the Gulf oil disaster. About midway through his talk, Obama acknowledged that he had approved new offshore drilling a few weeks before the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion on April 20. But Obama said he had done so only “under the assurance that it would be absolutely safe.”
Absolutely safe? Even before the Gulf spill, few defenders of offshore drilling would go that far.
Read the whole thing, particularly the bits where administration officials are falling all over each other to deny that they’re the ones who used the dread phrase. In the meantime – since apparently I, a liberal arts major with a degree in English lit and some grad school work in library science, have more of a grasp of offshore drilling operations than the three-brained Vulcan genius elected to the Presidency in 2008 – let me explain what offshore drilling is.
Offshore drilling is when you go out onto a big pool of corrosive liquid that will kill you in minutes if you’re not careful, and days if you’re careful and unlucky (we call this an ‘ocean.’ Once you’re on this ocean, you take a big metal needle and you jam it into the rock at the bottom of the ocean, hard enough that it will break through the rock and hopefully find a big deposit of a flammable, toxic, explosive, and volatile complex hydrocarbon under pressure (we call this ‘oil.’ Assuming you find any oil, you then suck it up with a metal straw and bring it to shore.
Don’t spill any. Or set it on fire. Or have it explode, then set the ocean on fire. That would be… bad.
…And that’s offshore oil drilling. Valuable? Yes. Worth doing? Certainly. Vitally necessary for the continued smooth operation of modern society? Only the real dolts – and I’m talking a level of doltishness found among, say, people who think that the existence of ubiquitous electric cars doesn’t imply the existence of ubiquitous nuclear power plants – would say no. ‘Absolutely safe?’ Heck, no.
PS: By the way, Mr President: the person who told you that? Yeah. Fire that person.