Obama Wants $15 Million to Create Oil-Spill Probe Panel

The White House asked Congress late Wednesday for $15 million — a whopping $2.5 million per month for six months — to fund their expert commission of academics to study the Gulf oil-rig explosion and the disastrous spill that followed.

In a letter to Congress, which was obtained by HUMAN EVENTS, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag requested the money to fund the work of the “National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.”

While tens of thousands are put out of work by Obama’s six-month Gulf deep water drilling moratorium — and people lose generational legacies of work pulling their livelihoods out of the sea with their bare hands from fishing nets and crab traps — the president is spending more money in a month on his academic commission to study the issue than any one of these hard working families will make in a lifetime of real work.

Not one nominee for his commission has any real-world experience in the Gulf working on an oil and gas platform.  Not one.  But they’re all enviro-Democrat donors!

And they’ll decide whether or not to kill the entire oil industry in the Gulf — wells, supports services and the communities that go along with it.  Restaurants and grocery stores, housing, transportation, communications — whole communities wiped out not by an oil industry accident but by a left-wing administration moratorium.

According to Orszag’s letter, the six-month commission study will also go toward “personnel costs,” “authorized travel,” “research and investigation,” and other “costs in carrying out the mandate of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.”

For $2.5 million a month, wonder if our panelists fly commercial?  Or will they have a Gulf Oil Shutdown Czar with a private, government-supplied plane?  What’s the size of their carbon footprint?

According to Orszag’s amendment to the president’s proposed FY 2010 budget, it will take six months and cost taxpayers $15 million to:

“Examine the relevant facts and circumstances concerning the causes of the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster;

•  Develop options for guarding against, and mitigating the impact of, oil spills associated with offshore drilling, taking into consideration the environmental, public health, and economic effects of such options, including options involving:

• Improvements to federal laws, regulations, and industry practices applicable to offshore drilling that would yield effective oversight , monitoring, and response capabilities; protect public health and safety, occupational health and safety, and the environment and natural resources; and address affected communities; and

• Organization or other reforms of federal agencies or processes necessary to make certain such improvements are implemented and maintained.

• Submit a final public report to the President with its findings and options for consideration within six months of the date of the commission’s first meeting.”