There are no adults in charge when it comes to the Gulf oil disaster response. There is only the inept flailing of Obama administration bureaucrats and inevitable waste of vast sums of money we do not have:
A morning flight over the Mississippi Sound showed long, wide ribbons of orange-colored oil for as far as the eye could see and acres of both heavy and light sheen moving into the Sound between the barrier islands. What was missing was any sign of skimming operations from Horn Island to Pass Christian.
U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor got off the flight angry.
“It’s criminal what’s going on out there,” Taylor said minutes later. “This doesn’t have to happen.”
A scientist onboard, Mike Carron with the Northern Gulf Institute, said with this scenario, there will be oil on the beaches of the mainland.
“There’s oil in the Sound and there was no skimming,” Carron said. “No coordinated effort.”
Taylor said it was a good thing he didn’t have a mic in the helicopter, because he might have said some things he didn’t want his children to hear.
There are no skimmers because the vast majority of them have not been sent to the Gulf. And foreign-owned equipment is not welcome because the Jones act has not been waived by Obama.
Skimmers. On June 11, Adm. Allen said there were 400 skimmers in operation in the gulf — skimmers are used to suck up oil from the water — but noted that “nationally there are a little over 2,000 skimmers or skimming-type vehicles out there that … are potentially available for use.”
If you are doing “everything,” wouldn’t those other 1,600 skimmers be in the gulf right now? (At one point, the Coast Guard actually blocked 16 skimmers from going out into the gulf because it wanted to make sure the boats had life jackets and fire extinguishers on board.)
Jones Act. There’s also the question of why Obama hasn’t waived the Jones Act — a law that prevents foreign-flagged ships from operating near the U.S. coast (as President George W. Bush did in the immediate aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita) — to get more ships in the region collecting oil.
The administration has said a blanket waiver isn’t needed since no one has asked for one. But that seems awfully passive. Keith Hennessey, who coordinated the Jones Act waivers for Bush, said it’s like “the house on Halloween with no lights on and an angry pit bull tied to a tree in the front yard. When asked why they don’t hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, they reply that they haven’t had any requests.”
The author of that last bit suggests hiring “Stormin'” Norman Schwarzkopf to general the effort out there in the Gulf. We can safely assume this advice will be ignored by the flailing munchkins in the Emerald House since Schwarzkopf endorsed both Bush and McCain. But it is an intriguing suggestion. Schwarzkopf was brilliant at the logistics of mass coordinated troop movements. I suspect he’d be pretty good at ramrodding the Gulf disaster – if he was given a free hand and full backing. Like I said – unlikely.
Sadly, there is no indication that any grownup will be in charge down there anytime soon. With an unengaged president and a clueproof bunch of lightweight incompetents on his staff, there is no indication that any of them even understand that they could actually be doing something constructive.
So don’t hold your breath waiting for the skimmers. Please go read both linked pieces. You won’t be impressed with Obama or his bumbling bureaucrats.