"We're not mad, just disappointed."
On the week of the BP Oil Disaster memorial, the former members of the President's Oil Spill Commission doled out report card-style grades to the President, Congress, and oil industry. Released only days before the two-year memorial of BP's Macondo Well blowout, the report delivers an extremely important message to those three stakeholders: try harder.
To President Obama, the commission awarded an obligatory B (he did establish the group); to industry, a C+; and to congress, an all-but-shocking D. Grades no college student would write home about, and yet we all expect more.
The former commissioners were able to elaborate on some aspects of their grading system. A general statement on their report notes indicated that they are "encouraged…but much more needs to be done." While they laud the efforts to mitigate the damage associated with this nation’s worst environmental disaster on record, they remain discouraged by a dearth of momentum from federal legislators. Former Florida Senator and commission co-chair Bob Graham explained: "Across the board we are disappointed with Congress' lack of action." His remarks allude to the fact that in the near 24 months since the catastrophe not one piece of legislation has passed that instates comprehensive regulatory reform for the oil and gas industry or creates a funding source for the long term oversight of deep-water drilling.