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Barack Obama: Environmental Hero?

June 11, 2010
by

No.  Not so much.

Just a quick update to my last post, Enough is Enough.

I just heard about Press Secretary Robert Gibbs comments about the Merchant Marine Act a.k.a. The Jones Act. The Jones Act restricts movement between US ports to ships that are built, owned, and crewed by US citizens.  Here’s what he had to say:

MR. GIBBS: No, no, as Admiral Allen said today, we are using equipment and vessels from countries like Norway, Canada, the Netherlands. There has not been any problem with this. If there is the need for any type of waiver, that would obviously be granted. But this — we’ve not had that problem thus far in the Gulf.

Okay.  The Jones Act is neither preventing nor slowing down the clean up efforts in the Gulf of Mexico?  So what is?

Check out this May 5th statement from the State Department about refusing international aid from Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom:

These offers include experts in various aspects of oil spill impacts, research and technical expertise, booms, chemical oil dispersants, oil pumps, skimmers, and wildlife treatment.   While there is no need right now that the U.S. cannot meet, the U.S. Coast Guard is assessing these offers of assistance to see if there will be something which we will need in the near future.

There’s “no problem” with the Jones Act is because we are not accepting international aid!

The President keeps reminding us that he been fully engaged on the oil spill response since day 1.  Well, I’ve got news for you.  In a crisis, even if you’re there first and paying full attention, you still have to make the right decisions for your response to be effective.  Refusing international offers of technical expertise, booms, chemical oil dispersants, oil pumps, and skimmers was not the right decision.

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