Obama no longer gets to complain…

about BP’s response to the oil leak in the Gulf.

Why does neither the U.S. government nor U.S. energy companies have on hand the cleanup technology available in Europe? Ironically, the superior European technology runs afoul of U.S. environmental rules. The voracious Dutch vessels, for example, continuously suck up vast quantities of oily water, extract most of the oil and then spit overboard vast quantities of nearly oil-free water. Nearly oil-free isn’t good enough for the U.S. regulators, who have a standard of 15 parts per million — if water isn’t at least 99.9985% pure, it may not be returned to the Gulf of Mexico.

So, it’s better to let the oil flow freely ashore than to only get most of it out of the water. It gets even worse, though.

The Americans, overwhelmed by the catastrophic consequences of the BP spill, finally relented and took the Dutch up on their offer — but only partly. Because the U.S. didn’t want Dutch ships working the Gulf, the U.S. airlifted the Dutch equipment to the Gulf and then retrofitted it to U.S. vessels. And rather than have experienced Dutch crews immediately operate the oil-skimming equipment, to appease labour unions the U.S. postponed the clean-up operation to allow U.S. crews to be trained.

So, once the .gov broke down and admitted it couldn’t handle the spill, they still delayed the action they admitted they needed help with – just to avoid pissing off the unions.

With oil increasingly reaching the Gulf coast, the emergency construction of sand berns to minimize the damage is imperative. Again, the U.S. government priority is on U.S. jobs, with the Dutch asked to train American workers rather than to build the berns. According to Floris Van Hovell, a spokesman for the Dutch embassy in Washington, Dutch dredging ships could complete the berms in Louisiana twice as fast as the U.S. companies awarded the work.

So again , rather than doing what needs to be done to fix the problem, the .gov makes concessions to organized labor and politics – making the resulting environmental damage worse. Read the whole article – the information is quite damning of the government’s response.

Where are Obama’s priorities? Right – the golf course. The next time he starts to try his laughable “tough-guy” act on BP, someone needs to ask him some hard questions about his own administration’s response. (Like that will happen.)

(h/t SayUncle)
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