Just when you thought the federal government’s incompetence couldn’t get worse, along comes the Coast Guard and stops barges from sucking up the oil:
The President can’t suck it up with a straw, so no one else is allowed to?
“The Coast Guard came and shut them down,” Jindal said. “You got men on the barges in the oil, and they have been told by the Coast Guard, ‘Cease and desist. Stop sucking up that oil.’”
A Coast Guard representative told ABC News today that it shares the same goal as the governor.
“We are all in this together. The enemy is the oil,” said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Dan Lauer.
But the Coast Guard ordered the stoppage because of reasons that Jindal found frustrating. The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges.
Louisiana Governor Couldn’t Overrule Coast Guard
The governor said he didn’t have the authority to overrule the Coast Guard’s decision, though he said he tried to reach the White House to raise his concerns.
“They promised us they were going to get it done as quickly as possible,” he said. But “every time you talk to someone different at the Coast Guard, you get a different answer.”
This is fertile ground for conspiracy theories, but hey, you don’t need to go further than downright malfeasance, patronage, and union cronyism:
Obama blocked clean-up of BP oil spill by America’s allies; Failed to issue timely Jones Act waiver
Crucial offers to help clean up BP’s oil spill came “from Belgian, Dutch, and Norwegian firms that . . . possess some of the world’s most advanced oil skimming ships.” But the Obama administration didn’t accept their help, because doing so would require it to do something past presidents have routinely done: waive rules imposed by the Jones Act, a law backed by unions.
“The BP clean-up effort in the Gulf of Mexico is hampered by the Jones Act. This is a piece of 1920s protectionist legislation, that requires all vessels working in U.S. waters to be American-built, and American-crewed. So” the U.S. Coast Guard “can’t accept, and therefore don’t ask for, the assistance of high-tech European vessels specifically designed for the task in hand.”
The law itself permits the president to waive these requirements, and such waivers were “granted, promptly, by the Bush administration,” in the aftermath of hurricanes and other emergencies. But Obama refused to do so after the spill, notes David Warren in the Ottawa Citizen. Instead, Obama rejected a Dutch offer to help clean up the spill, noted Voice of America News:
“The Obama administration declined the Dutch offer partly because of the Jones Act, which restricts foreign ships from certain activities in U.S. waters. During the Hurricane Katrina crisis five years ago, the Bush administration waived the Jones Act in order to facilitate some foreign assistance, but such a waiver was not given in this case.”
“After the Obama administration refused help from the Netherlands, Geert Visser, the consul general for the Netherlands in Houston, told Loren Steffy: ‘Let’s forget about politics; let’s get it done.’” But for Obama, politics always comes first: “The explanation of Obama’s reluctance to seek this remedy is his cozy relationship with labor unions. . . ‘The unions see it [not waiving the act] as … protecting jobs. They hate when the Jones Act gets waived.’”
In April 2009, the Obama administration granted BP, a big supporter of Obama, a waiver of environmental regulations. But after the oil spill, it blocked Louisiana from protecting its coastline against the oil spill by delaying rather than expediting regulatory approval of essential protective measures. It has also chosen not to use what has been described as “the most effective method” of fighting the spill, a method successfully used in other oil spills. Democratic strategist James Carville called Obama’s handling of the oil spill “lackadaisical” and “unbelievable” in its “stupidity.”
Obama is now using BP’s oil spill to push the global-warming legislation that BP had lobbied for. Obama’s global warming legislation expands ethanol subsidies, which cause famine, starvation, and food riots in poor countries by shrinking the food supply. Ethanol makes gasoline costlier and dirtier, increases ozone pollution, and increases the death toll from smog and air pollution. Ethanol production also results in deforestation, soil erosion, and water pollution. Subsidies for biofuels like ethanol are a big source of corporate welfare: “BP has lobbied for and profited from subsidies for biofuels . . . that cannot break even without government support.”
And let’s not allow a crisis to go to waste – as Darleen points out,
the Gulf spill also provides yet another serious crisis too good to waste; from perp walking BP execs up to the frontdoor of the White House, to a $20 billion dollar slush fund administered by Obama’s hand-picked Pay Czar.
Meanwhile, back to the Gulf coast,
The press is being kept out of the spill zone.