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  • Pressure Prods Feds to Improve Oil Spill Cleanup

    Pressure from Senator George LeMieux (R, FL) and others has paid off with an emergency federal rule to permit oil cleanup vessels to leave their posts elsewhere along America’s coastline and finally head to the Gulf of Mexico to provide help.

    The Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency are to publish the formal rule tomorrow (June 30), LeMieux announced.  Normally, large amounts of ships and equipment are required by law to be kept in standby reserve to handle possible spills in harbors, drilling areas, etc.  Those federal dictates have prevented them from joining the under-supplied oil spill cleanup.

    The situation is analogous to a major fire—when units are called in from neighboring jurisdictions after one area is overwhelmed by a major blaze.

    LeMieux responded by expressing thanks—and wondering why it took so long:

    “We are at day 71 of this crisis and just now the bureaucracy is clearing a path for more skimmers. After waves of oil, tar and sludge-stained beaches, after families have lost their jobs, their business, and their way of life, we are finally beginning to see a sense of urgency from the federal government. I am glad the rule has been issued, but I wish this determination had been made weeks ago, when the oil could have been skimmed before it hit our coastlines.”

    Still, the additional American ships will be inadequate for the vast job.

    But will the newfound urgency extend to the largest help that’s been offered so far—namely the giant A Whale tanker ship that its Taiwanese owners have equipped to collect 500,000 barrels of oil per day—250 times the capacity of most vessels now being used to skim oil from the Gulf?  The Coast Guard reportedly will test the ship’s capabilities this week.  Putting the ship to work will require approval by the Coast Guard and the EPA, and may or may not require a Jones Act waiver.

    Using a giant tanker to suck up the oil is a strategy that Saudi Arabia successfully employed in 1993 to clean up a 700-million gallon spill off its coast.  Yet Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen just a few weeks ago claimed no such ship was available to help in the Gulf of Mexico. The arrival of the A Whale hopefully will change his mind.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to Pressure Prods Feds to Improve Oil Spill Cleanup

    1. Kathleen says:

      Why are orders taking so much time? This makes me sick that the government is taking this so lightly.

    2. philip brownell,key says:

      why did it take our president , Obama, so long to act for accepting skimmer,tanker help from foreign countries?

      Obama either is stupid or does not give a care, to help the ocean states clean their ocean property of the oil mess.

    3. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      This is now day 72 and the oil continues to wash up in Louisiana marshes and Gulf Coast beaches. Obama is neither stupid nor doesn't care. He is delibertly putting road blocks up in the clean-up efforts because he needs oil damage to push his Crap and Tax bill. Just like his commissions to "study" the issues, the

      EPA and USGC are being useful as idiots pawns by Obama to provide cover.

      To think that Obama does not know exactly what he is doing, is denying reality.

    4. Ron Nord, San Ramon, says:

      It would seem prudent when drilling at these depths to also place enough explosive charges at the appropriate distance to the well head to blow it up and shut it down in case of a catastrophe instance such as has occurred. Was BP so well fixed so politically that they didn't have to think defensively? BP seemed to be cutting a lot of corners, saving money with out the federal inspections usually done at such site's, not the right concrete, no pressure tests or not enough of the right kind. Political donations seemed to have saved BP millions of dollars but devastated our coastal states, were federal laws broken in this matter?

    5. Pingback: Former Oil Worker: The Cleanup Is All For Show (Video) | MorallyRight.org

    6. Billie says:

      Feds, president included, doesn't even know what their jobs are. There is absolutely no reason clean-up couldn't have taken place IMMEDIATELY.

      Incompetence and dereliction come to mind!

    7. shepton, UK says:

      The story about the 1993 Saudi spill and use of supertankers is just not true.

      The problem is not one of picking up the oil, it is one of collecting it to be able to pick it up. It has spread so widely that this ship will be of little additional value as the pockets of oil are so small. Furthermore a ship of this size is unmanouevrable at the very low speeds necessary for oil collection and recovery.

      Dont get carried away by the marketing hype.

    8. John-roger Ball says:

      Kevin Costner's skimmer/ separator is the only viable solution for the cleanup! Step aside and let him begin!

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