/ Bumped up . the good* reverend’s story got posted during the time we had trouble with comments appearing, so we’ve bumped her story up to ensure that you all get to comment (*she’s usually good but often naughty too)/

It is hard to believe that this oil spill in the Gulf is still continuing, over 70 days later. And, it is hard to believe how much this situation has been mismanaged by both BP and the US Government. Sadly, that is the case on both counts.

For instance, BP continues to act stupidly by not utilizing fishers from the Gulf area to assist in cleaning up the area, as this article by Matthew Boyle highlights, Local Fishermen Watch As Clueless Out-Of-Staters Take On Cleanup Duties:

Local out-of-work fishermen around the Gulf of Mexico are fuming at the Unified Command Center and BP after hundreds of people from other parts of the country have showed up for work along the Gulf Coast with their boats.

Bob Zales, president of the National Association of Charterboat Operators, said that those people from out of the area are taking jobs away from the fishermen and others directly affected by the spill. They’re doing it, Zales said, by getting hired onto BP’s subcontractors’ workforces.

Companies BP subcontracted to handle cleanup operations include SWS Eagle, Parsons and PEC Premier.

Zales said things would be better if the workers were experts on the handling these kinds of issues or at least knew the area.

“These so-called professionals they’re bringing in from out of state don’t have a clue how to set up boom,” Zales said. “They’re just here making money. But we’ve got people begging for work.”

Zales said the subcontractors should kick out the workers from other parts of the country and hire the local fishermen who know the area and how to do the work correctly.

“These are companies that are allegedly experts on environmental issues,” Zales said. “But, I can tell you, that from what I’ve seen, they don’t know what they’re doing. If this wasn’t so serious, it would be a good comedy.”

Yes, indeed, they should use the fishers and boat captains from the area who know the area, know how to set up booms, and have a sense of urgency about the work they are doing. Since the effect of this spill is already catastrophic, it seems to me they would want to use people who were knowledgeable about the area, and knew what the hell they were doing.

Oh, and one last tidbit from this article:

In Panama City, Fla., SWS Eagle employed at least 11 illegal immigrants, all of whom were arrested by law enforcement officials in Bay County. The officials expect that many more illegal aliens are working on cleanup sites.

“Thirty people didn’t show up for the next shift,” Ruth Corley, Bay County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, said. “We had received several tips that BP had employed illegal aliens. It turned out it was a subcontractor situation.”

Yes, this would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious, on a number of levels. What the hell is the matter with these people?? Sheesh. Click Local Fishermen Watch As Clueless Out-Of-Staters Take On Cleanup Duties”>HERE to read the rest of this informative, and disturbing, article.

And then there is the Federal Government’s mishandling of the spill. We know they stopped the sand berms from being built in Louisiana, which is bad enough. But there is another factor that is as egregious as they come, and that is the lack of oil skimmers being pressed into service, as this article by Karen Nelson highlights,
No Skimmers In Sight As Oil Floods Into Mississippi Waters:

A morning flight over the Mississippi Sound showed long, wide ribbons of orange-colored oil for as far as the eye could see and acres of both heavy and light sheen moving into the Sound between the barrier islands. What was missing was any sign of skimming operations from Horn Island to Pass Christian.

U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor got off the flight angry.

“It’s criminal what’s going on out there,” Taylor said minutes later. “This doesn’t have to happen.”

A scientist onboard, Mike Carron with the Northern Gulf Institute, said with this scenario, there will be oil on the beaches of the mainland.

“There’s oil in the Sound and there was no skimming,” Carron said. “No coordinated effort.”

[…]

“They’re paying all these boats to run around like headless chickens,” Taylor said, as reporters gathered to hear his assessment of the Sound.

Great. Sounds like there is poor oversight and coordination of resources available to do the job that is needed to be done to keep the oil from reaching the mainland: […]

Horn Island was doing its part Saturday, observers pointed out. The wiggly lines of sheen were coming straight at it from the south, headed for the island’s southern beaches. The island had boom in place to protect the inlets and sensitive wetlands along its northern shore, the side that faces the mainland.

Even the Pascagoula River was doing its part.

Carron pointed out the line where the river’s fresh water met the Sound’s salt water near Horn Island. All along the line was the orange oil caught between the two types of water and held at bay.

But where the failure came was in the human effort.

And that is the part that is most critical at this juncture, the human part. Rep. Taylor’s frustration was evident: […]

Taylor slipped a note to a fellow passenger.

It said: “I’m having a Katrina flashback. I haven’t seen this much stupidity, wasted effort, money and wasted resources, since then.”

Back on land in Gulfport, Taylor let loose.

“A lot of people are getting paid to say, ‘Look! There’s oil’ and not doing anything about it,” Taylor said. “There shouldn’t be a drop of oil in the Sound. There are enough boats running around.

“Nobody’s in charge,” Taylor said. “Everybody’s in charge, so no one’s in charge.

“If the president can’t find anyone who can do this job,” he said, “let me do it.”

Give the man the job, then. If he is willing and able to oversee the clean-up in the Gulf, and he clearly has a vested interest in it, give it to him already. Heaven knows he could scarcely do worse than what we are seeing now.

There is more in this article, and you can click here to read it all, but I think the following sums up the entire problem:

Taylor and U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., took the morning flight on a National Guard helicopter with representatives of the state DEQ and BP.

After the flight Wicker said he feels it’s not too late for President Barack Obama to accept help from other countries that have offered the services of their large oil-skimming boats.

Wicker blamed bureaucracy and the president, but said, “Mississippi has been a champ from the beginning of this.”

He also said he noticed BP has been slow to accept prevention plans from local governments. […]

Like I said at the beginning, it is a failure on the part of the two parties who need to get this right, BP and the Government. Now is not the time to be wasting money, bringing in people who haven’t a clue what to do, or letting skimmers sit idly by. Now is the time for cohesive, coherent action, by all the parties involved.

There are people who have plans available, like Taylor, to get the job done. There are fishers out of work for the time being due to the spill who could be working to contain and clean up the spill. A little common sense would go a long way here. If the people overseeing this project are failing at it, replace them immediately with those who can. Send the skimmers, use planes to spot for the boats (as the article above suggests), do anything and everything to contain and clean up this spill before it contaminates more beaches.

Time is of the essence, especially with Tropical Storm Alex bearing down. Time is of the essence….

  • Captain Jack Sparrow

    As far as this oil spill is concered as one contractor told me.. “If the spill companies ain’t flush after this spill they just don’t know how to make friends”.  Its all about making money and fucking the other guy… 

    While you are bitching and moaning about an oil spill….Try to sink your teeth into this little disaster that no one gives a shit about…..

    The Great Pacific Garbage Patch – Mapped

  • FLDemFem

    “some turtles are OK”, but at least 635 turtles are dead. And over 1,000 birds and a few hundred mammals. I got those figures off an article I read, can’t find it right now. But the numbers stuck in my head. Naturally, one cannot get an accurate count since BP, with the help of the administration, is blocking access to information on everything connected with the spill.

  • creeper

    %&*^$!#@+~=!!!!!!!!!!!  Note, please, that our COAST GUARD participated in that deception. 

    My son got off his barge Wednesday.  He didn’t want to come home.  Said he hated to leave while he was being paid full wage for doing nothing.  Their barge is still not being loaded with oil.  It just sits there, anchored offshore, waiting for Godo…er, the skimmer boats.

  • ~~JustMe~~

    Looking good candymarl!! So cute.

  • Tamara

    ctfsh:
    Were they SEIU workers? 
    I just assumed they were because they probably got paid to stand around and do nothing.

  • Breeze
  • Breeze

    BP DISASTER MAY NOW BE WORST SPILL IN GULF HISTORY

    By TOM BREEN, Associated Press Writer <!– end .byline –>

    NEW ORLEANS –

    Many fishing boats signed up to skim oil sit idle in marinas. Some captains and deckhands say they have been just waiting around for instructions while drawing checks from BP of more than $1,000 a day per vessel. Thousands of offers to clean beaches and wetlands have gone unanswered.

    BP and the Obama administration faced mounting complaints Thursday that they are ignoring foreign offers of badly needed equipment and making poor use of the fishing boats and volunteers available to help clean up what may now be the biggest spill ever in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Based on some government estimates, more than 140 million gallons of crude have now spewed from the bottom of the sea since the April 20 explosion that killed 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform, eclipsing the 1979-80 disaster off Mexico that had long stood as the worst in the Gulf.

    In recent days and weeks, for reasons BP has never explained, many fishing boats hired for the cleanup have done a lot of waiting around. At the same time, there is mounting frustration over the time it has taken the government to approve offers of help from foreign countries and international organizations.
    The Coast Guard said there have been 107 offers of help from 44 nations, ranging from technical advice to skimmer boats and booms. But many of those offers are weeks old, and only a small number have been accepted, with the vast majority still under review, according to a list kept by the State Department.
    A report prepared by investigators with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform for Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., detailed one case in which the Dutch government offered April 30 to provide four oil skimmers that collectively could process more than 6 million gallons of oily water a day. It took seven weeks for the U.S. to approve the offer.

    White House spokesman Robert Gibbs on Thursday scorned the idea that “somehow it took the command 70 days to accept international help.”
    “That is a myth,” he declared, “that has been debunked literally hundreds of times.”

    He said 24 foreign vessels were operating in the Gulf before this week. He did not specifically address the Dutch vessels.

    More than 2,000 boats have signed up for oil-spill duty under BP’s Vessel of Opportunity program. The company pays boat captains and their crews a flat fee based on the size of the vessel, ranging from $1,200 to $3,000 a day, plus a $200 fee for each crew member who works an eight-hour day.

  • Breeze

    CONTINUED:

    The U.S. Export-Import Bank tells us it has issued a “preliminary commitment” letter to Petrobras in the amount of $2 billion and has discussed with Brazil the possibility of increasing that amount. Ex-Im Bank says it has not decided whether the money will come in the form of a direct loan or loan guarantees. Either way, this corporate foreign aid may strike some readers as odd, given that the U.S. Treasury seems desperate for cash and Petrobras is one of the largest corporations in the Americas.


    But look on the bright side. If President Obama has embraced offshore drilling in Brazil, why not in the old U.S.A.? The land of the sorta free and the home of the heavily indebted has enormous offshore oil deposits, and last year ahead of the November elections, with gasoline at $4 a gallon, Congress let a ban on offshore drilling expire.


    The Bush Administration’s five-year plan (2007-2012) to open the outer continental shelf to oil exploration included new lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico. But in 2007 environmentalists went to court to block drilling in Alaska and in April a federal court ruled in their favor. In May, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said his department was unsure whether that ruling applied only to Alaska or all offshore drilling. So it asked an appeals court for clarification. Late last month the court said the earlier decision applied only to Alaska, opening the way for the sale of leases in the Gulf. Mr. Salazar now says the sales will go forward on August 19.


    This is progress, however slow. But it still doesn’t allow the U.S. to explore in Alaska or along the East and West Coasts, which could be our equivalent of the Tupi oil fields, which are set to make Brazil a leading oil exporter. Americans are right to wonder why Mr. Obama is underwriting in Brazil what he won’t allow at home.

  • Breeze


    OBAMA UNDERWRITES OFFSHORE DRILLING

    Wall Street Journal,
    by Staff   

     Original Article

    7/1/2010

    You read that headline correctly.

    Unfortunately, the Obama Administration is financing oil exploration off Brazil. The U.S. is going to lend billions of dollars to Brazil’s state-owned oil company, Petrobras, to finance exploration of the huge offshore discovery in Brazil’s Tupi oil field in the Santos Basin near Rio de Janeiro. Brazil’s planning minister confirmed that White House National Security Adviser James Jones met this month with Brazilian officials to talk about the loan.

  • candymarl

    My baby is back!

  • candymarl

    Test.

  • Olivia1998

    Like Palin or not she has negotiated with the Oil Companies before

  • Olivia1998

    JustMe: GIN and TONIC Works everytime

  • kafir
  • Yttik

    It’s a good post, Rev Amy.

    I just don’t know what to say, the situation is so overwhelming. The whole spill is a nightmare of epic proportions, the response is just atrocious, there’s very little leadership, and we’re in for a world of hurt.

    Seriously, I would have put Palin in charge. That is what’s needed, somebody with her experience with oil companies and her common sense approach to looking out for the people on the ground.

  • foxyladi14

    thanks Amy for the great post..

  • blue collar hoosier

    its frustrating as hell.  here’s another one worth the read:

    DAMNING REPORT ON OIL SPILL

    “The number of assets claimed [by the White House], however, does not appear to match what is actually in the field. This is corroborated by Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, who shared a similar story with investigators. BP and Coast Guard provided Mr. Nungesser with a map of the Gulf allegedly pinpointing the exact locations of 140 skimmers cleaning up oil. Sensing that the chart may have been somewhat inaccurate, Mr. Nungesser requested a flyover of the assets for verification. After three cancelled trips, officials admitted to Mr. Nungesser that only 31 of the 140 skimmers were ever deployed. The rest were sitting at the docks. According to Mr. Nungesser, the chart appeared to have been fabricated.”

    Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/later-today-damning-report-on-oil-spill-response-97579464.html#ixzz0sSHwBfsB

  • donjo

    More reasons to get pissed:

    Avertible catastrophe

    Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post · Saturday, Jun. 26, 2010

    Some are attuned to the possibility of looming catastrophe and know how to head it off. Others are unprepared for risk and even unable to get their priorities straight when risk turns to reality.

    The Dutch fall into the first group. Three days after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico began on April 20, the Netherlands offered the U.S. government ships equipped to handle a major spill, one much larger than the BP spill that then appeared to be underway. “Our system can handle 400 cubic metres per hour,” Weird Koops, the chairman of Spill Response Group Holland, told Radio Netherlands Worldwide, giving each Dutch ship more cleanup capacity than all the ships that the U.S. was then employing in the Gulf to combat the spill.

    To protect against the possibility that its equipment wouldn’t capture all the oil gushing from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, the Dutch also offered to prepare for the U.S. a contingency plan to protect Louisiana’s marshlands with sand barriers. One Dutch research institute specializing in deltas, coastal areas and rivers, in fact, developed a strategy to begin building 60-mile-long sand dikes within three weeks.

    The Dutch know how to handle maritime emergencies. In the event of an oil spill, The Netherlands government, which owns its own ships and high-tech skimmers, gives an oil company 12 hours to demonstrate it has the spill in hand. If the company shows signs of unpreparedness, the government dispatches its own ships at the oil company’s expense. “If there’s a country that’s experienced with building dikes and managing water, it’s the Netherlands,” says Geert Visser, the Dutch consul general in Houston.

    In sharp contrast to Dutch preparedness before the fact and the Dutch instinct to dive into action once an emergency becomes apparent, witness the American reaction to the Dutch offer of help. The U.S. government responded with “Thanks but no thanks,” remarked Visser, despite BP’s desire to bring in the Dutch equipment and despite the no-lose nature of the Dutch offer –the Dutch government offered the use of its equipment at no charge. Even after the U.S. refused, the Dutch kept their vessels on standby, hoping the Americans would come round. By May 5, the U.S. had not come round. To the contrary, the U.S. had also turned down offers of help from 12 other governments, most of them with superior expertise and equipment –unlike the U.S., Europe has robust fleets of Oil Spill Response Vessels that sail circles around their make-shift U.S. counterparts.