Politics, Plain and Simple

You can’t have your gulf and drill it too.
Debris and oil from the Deepwater Horizon dril...

Image via Wikipedia

The recent Deepwater Horizon spill was a horrible mess.  Oil gushed out of a broken pipe deep in the Gulf of Mexico while BP and the US government struggled to stop the flow and clean up the spill.

The chaos that the spill caused in Washington led to very abrupt halting of deep water drilling in the gulf.  The regulators, however, let their caution spill over into other areas as well.  According to the Associated Press, “the pace at which regulators grant drilling permits in water less than 500 feet deep has slowed sharply this summer … just four out of 10 shallow-water drilling applications have been approved from June through August; 15 applications were sought and approved in the same period last year.”

According to Reuters, the Obama administration is most likely going to let the drilling ban expire.  “Michael Bromwich, head of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said he has been impressed with strides the oil and gas industry has made on spill response and containment since the drilling ban was imposed,” Reuters reported today.

After years of loose regulation, do they really think they can fix all the problems and safety hazards in five months?  After such a strict summer why, suddenly, are they seeming to trust the oil industry again?  It seems that regulators want to have their cake and eat it too.  You must accept some risk if you want the private sector to succeed.  An over-regulated or over-taxed private sector simply kills jobs and the economy.  But, when you let corporations have a little room to move, you may have an explosion, or a faulty part, or some other issue.

Which is worse, Washington, a failing economy and a high unemployment rate or a free market where there is inherent risk? I think the American people will answer that question in November.

The Obama administration needs to find a balance of regulation and taxation.  Enough so that they protect our wellbeing and our environment, but not so much so that they hinder our freedom, economic growth, and prosperity.

Associated Press


New to the job.
The White House (Washington DC)

Image by ~MVI~ (back to churches and noodles) via Flickr

My first week in Washington, DC has opened my eyes to what most refer to as “the real world”.  The professionals in this city are just that: professional.  I have spoken with many interesting people in my first week here and have learned a great deal about a variety of topics.  I learned about city life, job hunting, networking, legislating, lobbying, and more.

The first thing I was met with when I arrived, and am constantly reminded of, are the constraints and restrictions that come with both renting and apartment and living in the city.  Some restrictions are written down, such as how many people are allowed in a room or not being able to consume food and drink on the Metro.  Other rules, perhaps the more important ones, aren’t written at all.  These are the unspoken rituals; consisting of unwritten codes of conduct, constraints, rules, and schedules of Washingtonian life.  One that I knew before from my many visits to this city is the walk left, stand right escalator rule.  This is possibly the most important rule to know when commuting or traveling in DC.  After that, important, unspoken rules include: dress nicely at all times (this is a professional city, after all), walk quickly wherever you go (preferably with a cup of coffee in one hand and a briefcase in the other), don’t wait for the walk/stop sign to change before walking, don’t walk in the middle of the sidewalk, and always have business cards at the ready.

My internship is very interesting.  I intern for The Potomac Advocates, a lobbying firm in Washington, DC for DoD and Homeland Security related fields.  I do a good bit of research in these fields as well as preparing presentations, reports, and distributing pamphlets for lobbying purposes.  It is very challenging at times, and I learn something every day.  I hope the rest of my internship is as exciting and challenging as I hope it will be.

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