President Obama once again missed an important opportunity to speed cleanup aid to the Gulf of Mexcio from countries around the world. The Dutch and Norwegians, just to name two, have offered to send ships and sophisticated skimming technology to the Gulf, but have been hampered by the administration’s mindless refusal to waive the Jones Act.
In fact the Jones Act was not even mentioned in his Oval Office address on Tuesday night.
The law requires that all ships entering U.S. ports be flagged American and have unionized American crews aboard. Former President George Bush waived the Jones Act within days of Hurricane Katrina, even though the unions opposed using the waiver even under those dire circumstances.
CEI has a smart, biting commentary here.
CAGW called on the President to waive the Act as part of his approach to the clean up. Instead, he has spent that majority of his time since “Day One” excoriating BP, preparing to sue the company, and blaming his predecessor.
And there was this, this morning: NPR reports that the oyster fisherman down in Plaquesmines Parrish, Louisiana, who are rapidly losing their livelihoods, have been asking for the opportunity to participate in the cleanup, but have been prevented from doing so because their barges don’t have the requisite numbers of life preservers on board according to federal regulations:
Billy Nungesser, the outspoken president of Plaquemines Parish has criticized the Coast Guard for its decision to shut down six barges that were collecting oil along the Louisiana coastline, NPR’s Yuki Noguchi reports.
Officials halted the cleanup effort because, in their estimation, there were not enough life jackets or fire extinguishers on board the vessels.
“We’re disgusted that once again, instead of helping, the Coast Guard is throwing up a road block,” Nungesser said in a press release, posted on the Plaquemines Parish Government’s website. “I thought I heard the President say we were at war.”
Would you shut down tanks to check for fire extinguishers if you were being shot at? The people of Plaquemines Parish were so disgusted they took shop vacs from their garages and used them to suck up oil.
According to Noguchi, a spokesman for Deepwater Horizon Unified Command said the barges will be inspected today, to ensure the safety of the workers on board.
Filed under: Pork