Thursday, June 17, 2010

BP Oil Spill: Case of Stopped Barges and Booms from Bahrain

Maybe it's not a good idea to have the government in charge, after all.

BP Oil Spill: Against Gov. Jindal's Wishes, Crude-Sucking Barges Stopped by Coast Guard (6/17/2010 ABC News)

"Eight days ago, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal ordered barges to begin vacuuming crude oil out of his state's oil-soaked waters. Today, against the governor's wishes, those barges sat idle, even as more oil flowed toward the Louisiana shore.

""It's the most frustrating thing," the Republican governor said today in Buras, La. "Literally, yesterday morning we found out that they were halting all of these barges."

"Sixteen barges sat stationary today, although they were sucking up thousands of gallons of BP's oil as recently as Tuesday. Workers in hazmat suits and gas masks pumped the oil out of the Louisiana waters and into steel tanks. It was a homegrown idea that seemed to be effective at collecting the thick gunk."

So why was the operation stopped?

"The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges."

They needed to see the proper permit. Governor Jindal, a Republican, says he didn't have the authority to override the Coast Guard. After much wrangling, the operation finally resumed, 24 hours later.

Governor Riley of Alabama, another Republican, doesn't have much luck with the Coast Guard either.

"Riley, R-Ala., asked the Coast Guard to find ocean boom tall enough to handle strong waves and protect his shoreline. The Coast Guard went all the way to Bahrain to find it, but when it came time to deploy it?"

It went to Louisiana.


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