The leak from the sunk Deepwater Horizon has been going on for almost a month now. A lot of people are upset with the government about not stepping in to do something about it. I understand the frustration, but unfortunately, I don’t think that there is anything that they can do about it. In general, and I’m sure it’s true in this case, most expertise is in the private sector just because it pays better. The people that have to best knowledge of the details of the well and the best equipment are going to be at BP. People may not like that, but it’s just the way that it is.
The two exceptions to the above rule would probably be the Fed and maybe the Army Corps of Engineers. The Fed since you’re probably the most powerful economists in the world, and the Army Corps of Engineers since it does all of the high level overarching infrastructure work in the country. But it wouldn’t have the knowledge to deal with the details of something like a specific well.
Also, these hearings are not very productive. I’m sure that everyone wants to plug the leak. Let’s just fix the problem first. Then we can parade everyone before some congressional committee and spread the blame around. All the effort should be at fixing the leak. If we want to hold hearings then it should just be the government asking what they can do to help. All that’s come out of the hearings is a whole lot of finger pointing which isn’t going to solve anything. The Economist wrote that the only thing that’s for certain right now is that everyone involved will start suing each other for the next couple decades. Isn’t that the truth.