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« Lost in translation | Main | Crotts interim chief »

Jul 02, 2010

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David Wharton

From the article you linked:

Coast Guard Rear Adm. James Watson, who oversees the Unified Command catastrophe response in New Orleans, determined in mid-June an insufficient number of U.S. skimming vessels is available to clean up oil, essentially exempting from the federal Jones Act foreign vessels that could be used in the response, said Capt. Ron LaBrec, a spokesman at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington.

The Jones Act allows only vessels that are U.S. flagged and owned to carry goods between U.S. ports.

To further clarify, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander, promised expedited Jones Act waivers for any essential spill-response activities. “Should any waivers be needed,” Allen said at the time, “we are prepared to process them as quickly as possible to allow vital spill response activities being undertaken by foreign-flagged vessels to continue without delay.”

So, just so I have it straight in my own mind:

The Deepwater Horizon blows up on April 20. TWO MONTHS LATER the Obama administration decides it's time to waive the Jones Act. The Obama administration has the authority to give waivers, BP does not. The Obama administration apparently has not yet granted any (did you get that "should any waivers be needed"? Amazing.)

The Obama administration rejected foreign offers of skimmers 3 days after the spill.

Am I correct that, in the story you linked, the charge that BP is blocking waivers is based entirely on suppostion?

So, in answer to your rhetorical question, I'd say it's perfectly fine to criticize BP for their many mistakes. This doesn't look like one of them, yet.

Is it also an unpatriotic blame game for which we must apologize to criticize the Obama administration for a wrechedly slow-footed, bureaucratic approach to an environmental emergency?

eric

The Jones Act waiver issue is a red herring. There haven't been any waivers, because the Act does not apply to any of the efforts that have been undertaken thus far. There have been It would be as relevant to ask why the Designated Hitter Rule has not been waived.

Phil Melton

So if the Jones Act waiver issue is a red herring, the Obama administration has no excuse for their inaction.

eric

I'd agree with that. Though, to give the Administration a tiny bit of credit, they aren't the ones who have been blaming the Jones Act.

cheripickr

Yeah, one thing you've got to give this administration credit for, they don't play the blame game.

Norman Vincent Peale Peckinpah

you're not a total, absolute and qualified failure unless you can successfully blame someone or something else.

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