Top Kill Fails. Is A Nuclear Solution Really On The Table?

By now you probably know that BP’s “top kill” operation has failed. There are a lot of different reports about what comes next. Here are a couple of links. One is to the Politico article on the failure and it contains some discussion of the next step. The other is to Business Insider where Joe Weisenthal has a good graphic of the upcoming option.


Business Insider

Now that that’s out of the way let me pass along a couple of thoughts that Joe Weisenthal had in an earlier post on Business Insider:

First, expect BP to be “off the job” in the coming days. Having BP run the show has been a disaster for a couple of reasons. One is that Obama has to defend the company’s actions, and two is that BP is HORRIBLE at PR, waiting hours to give updates that everyone is clamoring for. Watch for the military to take over, though using BP’s resources and of course BP’s dime.

Next, the so-called “nuclear option” is about to get a lot of attention. In this case, of course, nuclear option is not a euphemism. It’s the real idea that the best way to kill this thing is to stick a small nuke in there and bury the well under rubble. Supposedly it’s been done in Russia, and by the middle of the coming week, it will be all over cable news, as pundits press The White House hard on whether it’s being considered and why not.

If either one or both of these come to pass the Obama administration will have committed political suicide.

Obama may have handled this clumsily to this point, but to take full ownership by involving the military or any other part of the government shifts responsibility for resolution of the problem directly onto his shoulders. Any failure or delay — and there will most likely be some — will be viewed as incompetence. There is no upside to replacing BP.

Even the suggestion that there is the slightest bit of discussion about nuking the well will freak out this country. Don’t even concern yourself with the response of the anti-nuclear crowd, the average citizen will panic and the press will go wild.

There’s no doubt that this is a nightmare, but making it your own is a dead end. And setting off the big one even if it is under 5,000 feet of water is enough to convince the public that your administration is full of a bunch of Dr. Strangeloves.

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