WHAT OTH­ERS SAY

The Gulf Today - - OPINION -

WHAT CAN DE­LIVER, WHAT CAN’T

AFfter the re­cent gas short­ages across the coun­try, the prime min­is­ter sacked the heads of the two dis­tri­bu­tion com­pa­nies pos­si­bly in an at­tempt to Ap­pear In CHARGE. How­ever, Is such Ar­bi­trary SACK­ING of se­nior ofi­cials ac­cepted as a sign of a de­ci­sive per­son in charge — ie the prime min­is­ter — ex­er­cis­ing ex­ec­u­tive au­thor­ity? When you read an anal­y­sis of the de­ci­sion such as the one in this news­pa­per’s leader on Fri­day, you form the op­po­site view. A few lines from the ed­i­to­rial in a re­minder of what it said: “On the face of it, as­sign­ing blame to the MDS of the gas dis­tri­bu­tion com­pa­nies ap­pears odd, given that they are not re­spon­si­ble for the pro­duc­tion of gas or for its im­port. Be­sides, they nei­ther draw up the merit or­der list nor do they de­cide how the pace of the ex­pan­sion of gas de­mand is to be reg­u­lated. Their role is sim­ply to run the gas dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tem. If there is a short­age of gas in the sys­tem, or if there is a tech­ni­cal out­age at some point that is go­ing to con­strict the sup­ply of gas, this in­for­ma­tion is avail­able to au­thor­i­ties in the fed­eral gov­ern­ment in real time. “At least Four ofi­cials In IS­LAM­ABAD, with ofices very Close to EACH other — THE sec­re­taries for power and pe­tro­leum as well as the min­is­ters of these re­spec­tive Di­vi­sions — HAVE In THEIR ofices screens Dis­play­ing real-time DATA on How much GAS Is In THE sys­tem, How THE ields ARE Func­tion­ing, how the dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tem is op­er­at­ing, and so on.

SE­CU­RITY CRI­SIS

Dawn

or all his talk about a sup­posed na­tional se­cu­rity cri­sis on the bor­der with Mex­ico, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump is ig­nor­ing the po­ten­tial cri­sis the fed­eral shut­down is cre­at­ing else­where in the coun­try. Trump has es­sen­tially taken nine fed­eral de­part­ments and dozens of fed­eral agen­cies hostage in an ef­fort to co­erce Con­gress into spend­ing $5.7 bil­lion on the big­ger, longer bor­der wall he promised on the cam­paign trail to build (sup­pos­edly at Mex­ico’s ex­pense, but now on the US tax­pay­ers’ tab). Vi­tal gov­ern­ment ser­vices and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties ARE BE­ING SACRIICED In THE po­lit­i­cal stand­off, AND there’s no end in sight. In some cases, the shut­down is mak­ing com­mu­ni­ties less safe. The western United States has ex­pe­ri­enced a se­ries of cat­a­strophic ires In re­cent years, yet much of THE pre­ven­tion work NEEDED to RE­DUCE THE risk Is on Hold Dur­ing THE shut­down. FIREIGHTER HIR­ING AND train­ing Is frozen, as are con­tracts for equip­ment and air­craft. The U.S. For­est Ser­vice has sus­pended con­trolled burns of dead tim­ber and dry brush, steps that ARE DE­SIGNED to RE­DUCE THE Fuel AND In­ten­sity of Fu­ture wildires. THIS Is All es­sen­tial work that can be done only dur­ing the in­creas­ingly short off-sea­son, AND stop­ping those Ef­forts leaves Both ireight­ing AGEN­CIES AND wild­land com­mu­ni­ties less pre­pared. Los An­ge­les Times

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