Sunday, July 4, 2010

When it's extremely important for prompt governmental action (not due to false WMD "intelligence")...

What is national emergency question number one when the president meets with the top government officials about the BP oil spill ? I imagine that it should be "Are there any frivolous or other legal or governmental impediments to the effective mobilization of cleanup resources that the president or congress can help with in this national emergency?" In the last few years, I've seen some incredible things come out of Washington in rapid, panicked, emergency legislation, the bailouts took less than a week if I remember, the "Long War" authorization after 9/11 ( I found out later) took three days. Well prepare yourself, because this is just basic, basic responsibility of governmental office in a national emergency such as this, and not only do they not do anything, they don't even get out of the way!

Red tape keeps prized oil fighting skimmers from gulf, coastline

""We want all the skimming vessels in the world deployed," said Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser. "This is an oil spill bigger than anything we've ever seen. It's a national disaster. We're at war. If you were at war and in charge, would you deploy everything you had to win the war?""

""We are literally talking about more than a thousand skimmers that are available, but we only have 400 - if this number is correct -- at work," LeMieux said. "It is hard to believe that the response is this anemic; it is hard to believe that there is this lack of urgency or sense of purpose in getting this done.""

"Regarding international skimming vessels, Allen said earlier this month that the government would work to quickly process waivers of the Jones Act, a 1920 maritime law that promotes U.S. shipping interests."

"Sens. LeMieux, Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and John Cornyn, R-Texas, have proposed legislation that would temporarily waive the Jones Act for oil spill response vessels. Although there is a Jones Act waiver process for foreign vessels during an oil spill, the law requires that the Coast Guard make a determination that "an adequate number" of U.S. oil spill response vessels "cannot be engaged to recover oil from an oil spill in or near those waters in a timely manner." And the foreign country offering the boats must agree to allow the United States similar privileges in their country."

"As of last week, no Jones Act waivers had been granted. According to the joint information center for the response, six vessels involved in oil containment have applied for Jones Act waivers that are still pending."