A big change in messaging in Gulf spill–the feds are in charge

May 27, 2010

I just reposted my bog from Emergency Management on how can communication be good when public opinion is bad.

One point I made in that post is the messaging from the Administration that is very confusing about the role of the government in the response–telling everyone that it is all on BP when in fact it is Unified Command with all agencies working in concert. Right now I am watching the live press conference from the White House–the message has completely changed. He is making it very clear that the federal government was in charge all along and they are telling BP what to do or at minimum approving or modifying BP’s plans. While it may not seem significant, this is very huge. The truth is coming out. The problem with EPA sending its demand letter about dispersants even while they have been involved and approved all dispersant plans is now having to be explained by the administration. The “boot on the neck” message will not go away, but at least the meaning of Unified Command is now becoming clear.

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One Response to “A big change in messaging in Gulf spill–the feds are in charge”


  1. For better or worse the WH is the JIC!
    What is really alarming is the funding mechanisms of the National Contingency Plan for Oil Spills and Hazardous Materials Releases (40 CFR Part 300-last updated 1994) appear to just being learned by many who needed to know those details all along. Soon the appropriations process for the FY 2011 budget of the US will be impacted in a major way by this event, even as a war-disaster supplemental struggles through the budget process and warfighting in Afghanistan crosses the 1000 mark for KIA and over $one (1) trillion invested in warfighting in Iraq and Afghanistan so far. Personally I believe the BP spill is now and probably should have been labeled a National Security event and all major assets of US response fully employed as the economies and environment of Gulf States continue to be destroyed.


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