If Federal officials had stocked fire booms on hand as required by the government’s 1994 “In-Situ Burn” plan, at least 95 percent of the oil spill would have been contained and away from land. Instead, they lied:
“They said this was the tool of last resort. No, this is absolutely the asset of first use. Get in there and start burning oil before the spill gets out of hand. If they had six or seven of these systems in place when this happened and got out there and started burning, it would have significantly lessened the amount of oil that got loose.”—Jeff Bohleber, chief financial officer for Elastec, the company that makes fire booms.
According to the New York Times, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano did not know the Defense Department had oil spill equipment.
Brother O finally visited the disaster area May 2, a mere 12 days after the rig exploded.
White House pathological liar Robert Gibbs hurriedly posted a blog titled “The Response to the Oil Spill so Far,” outlining the Bread and Circuses’ response since the spill, emphasizing that Brother O reacted “immediately” and “quickly,” and how he “early on” directed responding agencies to devote every resource to the incident and determining its cause.
Last night Fox’s Buffo Bill O’Reilly mocked those who blame Brother O and the Bread and Circuses Administration for not moving quickly enough in the Gulf. During a conversation with Bernie Goldberg on the O’Reilly Factor, Buffo Bill asked rhetorically:
“What was Obama supposed to do? Go out there with a net? … I mean what was he supposed to do? There isn’t anything you can do? … I don’t know what President Obama can do to stop the oil slick. You know they can’t cap it, and that’s the problem. Maybe he could put a dive suit on and go down … whaddyado?”
Another bold fresh piece of crap from Buffo Bill! He must be pining for another Brother O interview.
If U.S. officials had followed up on a 1994 response plan for a major Gulf oil spill, it is possible that the spill could have been kept under control and far from land.
The problem: The federal government did not have a single fire boom on hand.
The “In-Situ Burn” plan produced by federal agencies in 1994 calls for responding to a major oil spill in the Gulf with the immediate use of fire booms.
But in order to conduct a successful test burn eight days after the Deepwater Horizon well began releasing massive amounts of oil into the Gulf, officials had to purchase one from a company in Illinois.
When federal officials called, Elastec/American Marine, shipped the only boom it had in stock, Jeff Bohleber, chief financial officer for Elastec, said today.
At federal officials’ behest, the company began calling customers in other countries and asking if the U.S. government could borrow their fire booms for a few days, he said.
A single fire boom being towed by two boats can burn up to 1,800 barrels of oil an hour, Bohleber said. That translates to 75,000 gallons an hour, raising the possibility that the spill could have been contained at the accident scene 100 miles from shore.
“They said this was the tool of last resort. No, this is absolutely the asset of first use. Get in there and start burning oil before the spill gets out of hand,” Bohleber said. “If they had six or seven of these systems in place when this happened and got out there and started burning, it would have significantly lessened the amount of oil that got loose.”
In the days after the rig sank, U.S Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry said the government had all the assets it needed. She did not discuss why officials waited more than a week to conduct a test burn. (Watch video footage of the test burn.)
At the time, former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration oil spill response coordinator Ron Gouguet — who helped craft the 1994 plan — told the Press-Register that officials had pre-approval for burning. “The whole reason the plan was created was so we could pull the trigger right away.”
Gouguet speculated that burning could have captured 95 percent of the oil as it spilled from the well.
Bohleber said that his company was bringing several fire booms from South America, and he believed the National Response Center discovered that it had one in storage.
Each boom costs a few hundred thousand dollars, Bohleber said, declining to give a specific price.
Made of flame-retardant fabric, each boom has two pumps that push water through its 500-foot length. Two boats tow the U-shaped boom through an oil slick, gathering up about 75,000 gallons of oil at a time. That oil is dragged away from the larger spill, ignited and burns within an hour, he said.
The boom can be used as long as waves are below 3 feet, Bohleber said.
“Because of the complexity of the system and the obvious longer production time to build them, the emphasis is on obtaining and gathering the systems,” he said.
Bohleber said his company has conducted numerous tests with the Coast Guard since 1993, and it is now training crews on the use of the boom so workers will be ready when they arrive.
“We’re arranging for six to be shipped in. We keep running into delays. Hopefully, they will be here by Wednesday to be available for use on Thursday. Bear in mind, two days ago, we thought they would be here today.”
To see updated projection maps related to the oil spill in the Gulf, visit the Deepwater Horizon Response Web site established by government officials.
How to help: Volunteers eager to help cope with the spill and lessen its impact on the Gulf Coast environment and economy.
HOW YOU CAN HELP will appear daily in the Press-Register until there is no longer a need for volunteers in response to the oil spill disaster. If you have suggestions for a story, or if you belong to an organization in need of such help, please call Press-Register Editor Mike Marshall at 251-219-5675 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.