I don't blame the character and I don't think the writers wimped out. Running a two billion dollar oil business was simply never something Pam aspired to do. She even tried to convince Bobby to leave Ewing Oil when he was fighting JR for control of Ewing Oil. She asked him how much more money they needed and told him that earning more and more and competing in business just weren't important to her. She told Bobby she just wanted to live a happy, normal life that didn't include constant fighting. Frankly it was out of character for Bobby to even put Pam in the position of having to work with JR. That's the last thing he would have wanted her to feel obligated to do; it would have been very cruel to put Pam in that position. In all the time they were married when did Pam show any inclination that she'd even want to work at Ewing Oil? She never asked Bobby to teach her the oil business did she? Confronting JR in his business office about sending Pam to the Caribbean looking for Mark was fine but it's an entirely different thing from demonstrating that she had the business acumen and expertise to work at the highest level of a multi billion dollar oil company isn't it? Acquiring those qualities would have required her to demonstrate she had the desire to do so and to invest the time necessary to acquire the qualifications to compete at the highest levels of the independent oil industry.