Vision: Obama Admin Proposed Budget Cut to Coast Guard Crisis Center 3 Months before Gulf Oil Spill

Talk about bad timing.  The Obama Administration, quickly becoming the laughing stock  of the world, proposed cutting the budget of the Coast Guard Crisis Center 3 months prior to the Gulf Oil Spill.  From the Washington Post:

Three months before the massive BP oil spill erupted in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration proposed downsizing the Coast Guard national coordination center for oil spill responses, prompting its senior officers to warn that the agency’s readiness for catastrophic events would be weakened.

That proposal is feeding a mounting debate over whether the federal government is able to regulate deep-sea oil extraction. Defense analysts and retired agency leaders question whether the Coast Guard — which shares oversight of offshore drilling with the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service — has the expertise and resources to keep pace with industry advances.

Accidents happen, “but what you’re seeing here is the government is not properly set up to deal with this kind of issue,” said Robbin Laird, a defense consultant who has worked on Coast Guard issues. “The idea that you would even think about getting rid of catastrophic environmental spill equipment or expertise at the Department of Homeland Security, are you kidding me?”

“Cutting a strike team is nuts,” said Stephen Flynn, a former Coast Guard commander and now president of the Center for National Policy, a Washington think tank. “Whether it’s an accident of man or an act of terrorism, it requires almost the exact same skill set to clean it up.”

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