Seven men have been selected by the President to head a “drilling commission” to investigate and recommend for the future of off-shore drilling. This article piqued my interest. It makes two claims, that these individuals have little to no engineering (scientific?) expertise regarding offshore drilling and that they have a definite bias against drilling, i.e., that the fix is already in by loading it with politicians and environmental activists. Go ahead, skim the linked article. I’ll wait. …. now that you’re back, here’s what I can find on the web so far about these individuals. It might be also noted that the President called this a “bi-partisan” commission. We’ll see how that plays out.

The Two chairmen:

  • Mr William Reilly (wiki) — Not a scientist nor engineer, he has a BA in history and a Harvard law degree. Was the head of the EPA under Democratic administrations and President of the World Wildlife Fund. Mr Reilly is a Democrat.
  • Mr Bob Graham (wiki) — Not a scientist nor engineer, he has a political science degree from U of Florida and a LLB (bachelors of Law) from Harvard. Was governor of Florida for a term and unsuccessfully ran in in the 2004 primary Presidential bid. He is a lifelong Democrat.

Our five members announced last week.

  • Frances G. Beinecke (no wiki entry, mukety relationships) — Has an MA from Yale in “environmental studies” (and yes the scare quotes shows my bias as a physicist). Has been on the NRDC for 35 years. She is an anti-nuclear activist. He inherited much wealth from her family ties. I’m guessing Democrat as the profile does not indicate.
  • Donald Boesch (no wiki, here is his auto-bio) — His publication list, Mr Boesch is a Professor at U of Maryland heading their Center for Environmental Studies. Political affiliation is not given. Wanna guess, uhm, Democrat.
  • Terry Garcia (no wiki, auto-bio) — VP of National Geographic, Mr Garcia has a BA in international studies from American University and a law degree from George Washington U. Google shows him on a list of contributors to Mr Obama’s campaign, uhm, so a likely Democrat again.
  • Cherry A. Murray (wiki) — is the first person on the list with any (real) engineering credentials, alas not in mechanical engineering but instead in optical data storage.  No political affiliation given. Wanna bet?
  • Frances Ulmer (wiki) — BA from U of Wisconsin (Madison) in … (wait for it) … economics and political science. She is a career politician as a (suprise!) Democrat.
Now those who say Mr Obama is not a bald-faced liar will recall that he called this a “bi-partisan” commission who will serve as our experts in deep water drilling and engineering. How much more bald-faced does one have to get to get the title?
I had begun this enterprise willing to entertain the notion that the WSJ editorial piece was a little dishonest, painting its picture too strongly. Yet looking into what I can find, the opposite is true. If anything it was too balanced and shy to call a spade a spade.  Mr Obama’s commission is nothing but a complete farce. There is one person only on the commission who might have some real hard unimpeachable scientific background (Ms Murray). Furthermore, his claims this is bi-partisan is a utter and shameful distortion to call this highly partisan committee with at least three lifelong Democratic career politicians, no Republicans as bi-partisan. It is not even an expert field for there is not one person with a shred of mining or drilling background not tp speak of even some mechanical engineering. Only Ms Murray is likely to have have taken any math beyond calculus and the only one to have used any applied or pure maths in the last 2 decades.

Filed under: EnvironmentGovernmentMark O.Politics

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