Thursday, May 6, 2010

Guest Opinion: As oil leaked, Interior Dept. official rafted with wife

Rafting In Pennsylvania

“Though the Obama administration has stressed its involvement with the April 20 BP oil spill since "day one," at least one Interior Department official decided instead to phone it in and go white water rafting in the Grand Canyon with his wife and other officials.

Tom Strickland -- who serves as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's chief of staff and the department's assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks -- traveled to the Grand Canyon on official business on April 27, three days after the oil leak was initially discovered.

The incident bears similarity to the decision by National Counterterrorism Center Director Michael Leiter to stay on a ski trip with his son in the days following the thwarted Christmas Day bombing.

Other administration officials have canceled trips and events to focus on the spill. The Minerals Management Service wisely canceled an awards luncheon in Houston with the oil industry (where BP was a finalist)!

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson stayed away from the TIME 100 banquet where she was honored and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declined her Washington Post invite to the White House Correspondents Dinner in order to track the spill.”

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