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Coast Guard Still Reviewing Offers Of Help

From an increasingly testy Associated Press:

The "A Whale" skimmer, billed as the world’s largest oil skimming vessel, is seen anchored on the Mississippi River in Boothville, LA July 1, 2010.

Volunteers ready but left out of spill cleanup

By Tom Breen, Associated Press Writer

July 2, 2010

NEW ORLEANS – BP and the Obama administration face mounting complaints that they are ignoring foreign offers of equipment and making little use of the fishing boats and volunteers available to help clean up what may now be the biggest spill ever in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Coast Guard said there have been 107 offers of help from 44 nations, ranging from technical advice to skimmer boats and booms. But many of those offers are weeks old, and only a small number have been accepted, with the vast majority still under review, according to a list kept by the State Department.

And in recent days and weeks, for reasons BP has never explained, many fishing boats hired for the cleanup have done a lot of waiting around.

A report prepared by investigators with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform for Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., detailed one case in which the Dutch government offered April 30 to provide four oil skimmers that collectively could process more than 6 million gallons of oily water a day. It took seven weeks for the U.S. to approve the offer.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs on Thursday scorned the idea that "somehow it took the command 70 days to accept international help."

"That is a myth," he declared, "that has been debunked literally hundreds of times."

He said 24 foreign vessels were operating in the Gulf before this week. He did not specifically address the Dutch vessels

Once again, ‘Baghdad Bob’ Gibbs earns his sobriquet. Without the waiver of the Jones Act, foreign vessels are not allowed to operate within the US three mile limit, where they are needed most.

Still, more than 2,000 boats have signed up for oil-spill duty under BP’s Vessel of Opportunity program. The company pays boat captains and their crews a flat fee based on the size of the vessel, ranging from $1,200 to $3,000 a day, plus a $200 fee for each crew member who works an eight-hour day.

Rocky Ditcharo, a shrimp dock owner in Buras, La., said many fishermen hired by BP have told him that they often park their boats on the shore while they wait for word on where to go.

"They just wait because there’s no direction," Ditcharo said. He said he believes BP has hired many boat captains "to show numbers."

"But they’re really not doing anything," he added. He also said he suspects the company is hiring out-of-work fishermen to placate them with paychecks

Billy Nungesser, president of Louisiana’s hard-hit Plaquemines Parish, said BP and the Coast Guard provided a map of the exact locations of 140 skimmers that were supposedly cleaning up the oil. But he said that after he repeatedly asked to be flown over the area so he could see them at work, officials told him only 31 skimmers were on the job

Newly retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the government’s point man for the response effort, bristled at some of the accusations in Issa’s report.

"I think we’ve been pretty transparent throughout this," Allen said at the White House. He disputed any suggestion that there aren’t enough skimmers being put on the water, saying the spill area is so big that there are bound to be areas with no vessels.

The Coast Guard said there are roughly 550 skimmers working in the Gulf, with 250 or so in Louisiana waters, 136 in Florida, 87 in Alabama and 76 in Mississippi, although stormy weather in recent days has kept the many of the vessels from working.

The frustration extends to the volunteers who have offered to clean beaches and wetlands. More than 20,000 volunteers have signed up to help in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, yet fewer than one in six has received an assignment or the training required to take part in some chores, according to BP

Such rampant incompetence cannot be entirely unintentional. Mr. Obama must want this spill to be even greater environmental disaster.

After all, he still hasn’t rammed through his energy tax, which has Ms. Pelosi proclaimed to be the third pillar of his administration. He has to keep the hope crisis alive.

And that is what his training as an organizer, an agitator, has taught him to do.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, July 2nd, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Coast Guard Still Reviewing Offers Of Help”

  1. NoNeoCommies says:

    If I could only find a way to get paid while they review my request to help, I would volunteer right now!
    By the time they approve or deny my request, I won’t be needed and I can walk away with a wad of cash and claim I “tried” (always a plus with Liberals).

  2. arb says:

    “I’m reviewing the situation.
    I’m a bad ‘un and a bad ‘un I shall stay!
    You’ll be seeing no transformation,
    But it’s wrong to be a rogue in ev’ry way.”

    President Fagin

  3. Reality Bytes says:

    “Let me be clear. We’ve got to get this right.” – Barack Obama

  4. canary says:

    I heard a global warmer on news say BP is not violating EPA laws in the
    emergent solution that is used in other oil spills.

    It appears more and more Obama has used this spill to further his plan to for the U.S. to become more dependent on Indonesia & Saudi where his heart bows to worships.

    Jindal & southern governors threaten Obama on oil spill

    (BP still ignoring EPA trying to reduce the 75% emergent solution to less effective 10% solution “Petro Clean” uses)

    BP defies EPA orders to use less toxic chemicals

  5. GetBackJack says:

    On Lucianne.com this morning – Month one and no action – poor leadership. Month two – deliberate. Month three, criminal.

    Which is completely in line with Sherlock Holmes’ analysis …

    Once is happenstance
    Twice is coincidence
    Three times is enemy action.

  6. Liberals Demise says:

    This bulletin just in from the LSM on Obamas’ lack of leadership on the BP Oil Spill…………Day 73!


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