Environment

Rush Limbaugh: Oil Spill is Natural

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Rush Limbaugh says there's no reason to spend millions of dollars cleaning up that massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The conservative radio host said the spill is a natural occcurence:

“The ocean will take care of this on its own if it was left alone and left out there. It’s natural. It’s as natural as the ocean water is.”

Limbaugh pointed out that the 5,000 barrels of oil a day reaching the shore is roughly the natural level from the seepage that leaks out of the bottom of the Gulf.

Limbaugh is also suggesting that the oil rig explosion was an inside job, that "environmental wackos" as he calls them blew it up in order to stop the recent off-shore drilling that President Obama approved. Obama suspended that decision following the incident.

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Newsweek's Ben Adler takes Limbaugh to task:

This is a bizarre statement because it suggests that environmentalists would actually unleash a terrible environmental catastrophe so as to prevent future development of energy production. But the reason that they oppose off-shore drilling, or subsidies to build nuclear plants, is to prevent calamities such as this! Limbaugh seems to think that they don't actually care about the destruction of oceans or coastal areas, but they wish to prevent the off-shore oil drilling or construction of nuclear plants merely as to end unto itself.

Limbaugh and others on the right are calling this "Obama's Katrina." They are leveling the same accusations against Obama that the left put on then-President Bush -- that he was slow to respond to a catastrophic event.

Radio host Mark Levin asked why it took the President eight days after the explosion to make an announcement. "This is the first real challenge that President Obama has dealt with and he hasn't been able to handle it."

Limbaugh said, "The rig exploded on April 21 (actually, the 20th). There was a massive explosion of an oil rig in the Gulf.  The White House was strangely silent about the environmental disaster just till a few days ago."

The White House, however, denies any delay in its response.

"This is always the case in Washington -- that whenever something like this happens, the political speculation sets in," White House senior adviser David Axelrod told ABC News. "The truth of the matter is we had the Coast Guard on the scene almost immediately after this accident. The deputy secretary of the interior was on the ground the next day, and we've been coordinating closely with the local authorities and [BP officials] from the very beginning."