I was listening to NPR yesterday (on my super awesome XM radio), and there were several callers and experts criticizing the federal government and President Obama for the response to the BP oil spill.
They thought the government should have done more to aid the cleanup, should be calling the shots, and should have proposed several ideas to cap the deluge. They thought it ludicrous that the company responsible for the spill was also relying on their own in-house experts to brainstorm and coordinate the efforts.
What the critics don't realize is this - the brainiacs of science and engineering do not typically lie within the government. They go to work in industry. Or in universities. Or both. Or a combination thereof, as contractors or recipients of federal research grants. If we relied on the government experts to engineer and design a plan to cap the leak, we'd still be in assessment mode.
Should BP have had a better emergency response plan? You bet. Should they have had a Plan B, period, in case of a spill? Of course. But does BP have the best people, equipment, ideas, and resources to get themselves out of this mess? Most likely yes.
The world is watching. I hope the privitazation and free market concepts of the oil and gas industry don't let us down.