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  • Pat Austin 11:56 AM on 06/27/2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Louisiana   

    Day 69: Thad Allen Needs to Go 

    The federal response to the Gulf crisis has not improved this week as far as I can tell.  Admiral Thad Allen’s Friday briefing makes that abundantly clear.

    This man need to be replaced.

    At issue is the question of skimmers in the Gulf.  Karen Nelson of the Biloxi Sun Herald reported on the anger and frustration along the Gulf at the lack of skimmers along the Mississippi Gulf coast.  U.S. Representative Gene Taylor was apoplectic and beginning to sound like Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal:

    Back on land in Gulfport, Taylor let loose.

    “A lot of people are getting paid to say, ‘Look! There’s oil’ and not doing anything about it,” Taylor said. “There shouldn’t be a drop of oil in the Sound. There are enough boats running around.

    “Nobody’s in charge,” Taylor said. “Everybody’s in charge, so no one’s in charge.”  “If the president can’t find anyone who can do this job,” he said, “let me do it.”

    Admiral Allen was asked about the lack of skimmers by Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald.  His response?

    The discussions we are having with the Navy and other folks right now is the availability of skimmers that are on standby because they might be needed for a spill someplace else and how we might go about assessing the availability of those resources. So I would separate out the resources that the Navy had that they’ve already given to us and the discussions we’re having across the entire country where we have equipment that’s out there as a requirement—legal requirement to cover spill response of those areas and how we might free those up, and that’s a work in progress inside the administration right now.

    Got that?  We’ve got skimmers on standby but can’t use them because they might be needed somewhere else. Her next question was whether or not the Jones Act has been waived.  Allen’s response:

    Oh, there are a lot of foreign vessels operating offshore, Carol. The Jones Act—we have had no request for Jones Act waivers. If the vessels are operating outside state waters, which is three miles and beyond, they don’t require a waiver. All that we require is an Affirmation of Reciprocity, so if there ever was a spill in those countries and we want to send skimming equipment, that we would be allowed to do that, as well, and that hasn’t become an issue yet, either.

    Allen should check his mail more often.  One request was made on June 17.  John Cornyn sent a request on June 22.  On June 18, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison filed a bill requesting waiver of the Jones Act.  Florida Senator LeMieux and Rep. Jeff Miller requested a waiver two weeks ago.

    Allen’s excuse that foreign vessels are working the spill three miles and more offshore is lame.  A waiver of the Jones Act would get foreign skimmers near the shore where they could protect the fragile coast.

    Overall there are just too many cooks in the kitchen.  What is needed is take-charge leadership to make the tough calls and get the job done.  There’s just no excuse for the lack of skimmers in the Gulf.  Every available asset should be utilized.
    When does incompetence cross the line and become criminal?
    (More at Memeorandum)
     
  • Pat Austin 8:18 AM on 05/30/2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Louisiana   

    OilBama is Outraged! 

    Fearless leader is unhappy.  With the news that the BP “top kill” procedure has failed, Obama is now “enraged.”  On top of that, the AP reports, this comes after “Obama interrupted a long holiday weekend at his home in Chicago to visit the Louisiana coast on Friday and show its angry residents that he is in command of the situation.”

    In command?  Not so much, I think.

    You may have seen pictures of Obama’s visit to the coast Friday.  There’s one where he is stooping down in his slacks and dress shirt inspecting a tiny tar ball on the beach.  Apparently the hundreds of BP workers bused in to clean up the beach before his visit left a few tar balls for just such a photo op.  The residents on the coast would have loved for those workers to stay and keep on cleaning their beaches, but as soon as Obama left, they were out of there.

    “The level of cleanup and cooperation we’ve gotten from BP in the past is in no way consistent to the effort shown on the island today,” [Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris] Roberts said by telephone. “As soon as the president left, they were immediately put back on the buses and sent home.”

    I don’t think for one moment that Obama gives a damn about the coast or the people in south Louisiana who are losing their livelihood because of this spill. Such a narcissist can not be concerned about others to the level he would have us believe he is.

    The responsibility belongs to BP.  To be fair, I don’t think we can hold the government responsible for what happened anymore than we could hold George W. Bush responsible for Hurricane Katrina.  But it is imperative on Obama’s administration to provide everything necessary for the protection of the Louisiana marshlands and coastline.

    Appearances count for something.  Obama batting off to Chicago for the weekend, his second vacation since this spill occurred, sends a message opposite of the one intended by his handlers with the staged photo of him inspecting a tar ball.  One says, “I don’t care!  Solve it yourself!  I’m outta here!”  and the other says, “I care.  Look at this foul tar ball on American shores.  I’m enraged.”

    Governor Bobby Jindal was on ABC This Week and HE is outraged.  Politco quotes him as saying:

    Now, we have said for weeks now we’d much rather fight this oil on a sandy barrier island than fight it inside our wetlands. We’ve got miles and miles of these islands… [and w]e proposed a plan, 24 segments, to rebuild or refortify these islands.

    “After weeks — and if they had approved this when we first asked, we could have built 10 miles. Ten miles… Yesterday, the Army Corps of Engineers approved six segments out of 24, over 40 miles out of 100. But here’s where our concern was. The federal government only ordered BP to pay for to do one of those six segments. That’s two miles out of 100. Our message to the president today was, make BP pay for this. The federal government shouldn’t be making excuses for BP. This is their spill, their oil. They’re the responsible party. Make them responsible.

    Jindal rightly laments the lack of urgency on the part of the federal government to provide what he’s asked for.

    Needless to say, this story will continue to play out through the weeks and will only get worse.  The politics aside, people are losing their way of life and their way of making a living.  The wetlands are dying.  No amount of federal dollars can replace what will be lost there.

    Obama can keep his outrage.

    (Cross-posted at And So it Goes in Shreveport)

     
    • backyardconservative 6:36 PM on 05/30/2010 Permalink | Reply

      Good post. This is so sad. I totally agree with this: The responsibility belongs to BP. To be fair, I don’t think we can hold the government responsible for what happened anymore than we could hold George W. Bush responsible for Hurricane Katrina. But it is imperative on Obama’s administration to provide everything necessary for the protection of the Louisiana marshlands and coastline.

      • Jill 6:17 AM on 05/31/2010 Permalink | Reply

        The problem with being president is that little things, like oil spills, keep coming up and interrupting your waffles.

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