Archive for June 19th, 2010

Obama’s Gulf Cleanup Circus

By Jerry A. Kane

Two months into the Deep Sea Horizon oil catastrophe and the cleanup in Louisiana and the other Gulf Coast states is starting to show signs of a bureaucratic SNAFU. It’s tough sledding when several agencies have absolute veto power, but nobody’s in charge.

“[E]very time you talk to someone different … you get a different answer.”—Bobby Jindal, Louisiana Governor

Jindal spent over ten days appealing for common sense remedies to bureaucrats and brass who possess neither. Jindal has been fighting desperately for oil sucking barges to siphon crude from Louisiana’s oil-laden waters.  And when he finally got them out in the Gulf sucking oil from the water …

“The Coast Guard came and shut them down. … men on the barges … have been told by the Coast Guard, ‘Cease and desist. Stop sucking up that oil.'”—Bobby Jindal

Although the barges were sucking up thousands of gallons of oil, they were shut down and sat idle for over 24 hours because the Coast Guard brass couldn’t reach the people who built the barges to confirm whether the vessels had fire extinguishers and life vests.

Jindal said he didn’t have the authority to overrule the Coast Guard brass, so he took his problem to some bureaucrats in the Bread and Circuses administration. The barges were finally sent back to work, but it took more than 24 hours for the order to come down.

“They promised us they were going to get it done as quickly as possible.”—Bobby Jindal

Alabama Governor Bob Riley said that he’s also had problems with the Coast Guard brass. Riley requested an ocean boom that would handle large waves to protect the coastline. The Coast Guard found a boom in Bahrain but deployed it to Louisiana instead of Alabama.

Although the governors and the Coast Guard have developed a planned course of action for the cleanup, the problem is how to cut through EPA and Fish and Wildlife Service redtape to carry out the cleanup action efficiently.

“It’s like this huge committee down there, and every decision that we try to implement, any one person on that committee has absolute veto power.”—Bob Riley, Alabama Governor

Perhaps a few camera-starved Democrats in Congress will summon a couple of these faceless agency bureaucrats before one of their show-trial tribunals as they did BP chief executive Tony Hayward and give them a couple of turns on the spit regarding mismanagement, incompetence, and wasted resources in the Gulf cleanup effort.   



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