Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Seven Sins

The Hayride has an excellent summary of how the US government has shown its incompetence with respect to the BP oil spill. I'll summarize them here but it is really worth the read.

The Jones Act - The Obama administration has used the Jones Act as an excuse for not using foreign flag vessels to aid with the cleanup. The fact is that the Jones Act does not apply outside of 6 miles offshore and he could easily waive the act, like Bush did for Katrina.

The Packgen Blowoff - A manufacturer in Maine decided to start building oil boom on speculation knowing that there would be a demand for it. The government has ignored the 15 miles of boom they have stored in their warehouse even as Bobby Jindal was pleading for more boom.

Skimmers Staying Put - 2000 skimmers are available in the US but only 400 are actually being used to fight the spill. NBC news had film of workers using shop vacs to try to suck up oil in the marsh. Maybe Home Depot should be running the cleanup.

The Vacuum Barge Affair - When Louisiana decided to rig up some vacuum trucks on barges and use them to suck up oil, the USCG pulled them all back into port until they bought more fire extinguishers and life vests.

Sand Berms - The permitting process slowed the construction of berms designed to keep oil out of the most sensitive marshes. When dredging was finally allowed to proceed, a single individual stopped it again because of where the dredge material was taken from. Almost a week was lost to relocate the dredge suction.

Lack of Fire Boom - Burning has always been a key part of the federal response plan to a major oil spill, but when fireproof oil boom was needed, there was none available.

15 ppm - The EPA requires that water discharged overboard have no more than 15 parts per million of oil and grease. The Dutch oil spill vessels can suck up a tremendous amount of oil and water. They then separate the oil from the water and pump the water overboard. The problem is that the oil content of the discharge water is more than 15 ppm. Hence, the system was not approved by the EPA. Am I the only one who sees the irony in this decision? Why hasn't the president waived this requirement by executive order?

I'd like to add the fiasco concerning dispersants to this list. After the USCG approved the use of dispersants, the EPA called for a halt to their use until toxicity issues were resolved. They were basically ignored and the use of dispersants continued. The dispersants being used have been around for years. It makes one wonder why their toxic effects have not been studied.

When you take all of these issues together, you begin to wonder if the government is just that incompetent or if there is a conspiracy to NOT clean up the oil spill for nefarious political purposes.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Clay said...

The #1 mistake: leaving BP in charge of the mess they made...