Every day, I hear a few of the folks out there is still believe in Barack Obama say, "What is he supposed to do? He didn't cause the leak. He can't suck it up with a straw" (to borrow a line). Yet, I suspect that during Katrina, these same folks were damning George Bush for not saving the citizens of New Orleans-even as Coast Guard helicopters were lucking people off roof tops.
Here are a couple of things, Obama could have done in the early days of this disaster. First (on Day Three), he could have accepted the offer of the Dutch to sail ships into the Gulf with skimmers. (The Dutch know a thing or two about dealing with leaks, you know.) Yet astonishing, the State Department...
.....politely declined the offer as well as other offers from several other nations. Basically, DOS said that they had it under control.
Besides, there was an obscure law from 1920 called the Jones Act, which essentially requires boats carrying goods in our waters to be built, owned and operated by American crews. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:
"The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (P.L. 66-261) is a United States Federal statute that regulates maritime commerce in U.S. waters and between U.S. ports.
Section 27, also known as the Jones Act, deals with cabotage (i.e., coastal shipping) and requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried in U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents. The purpose of the law is to support the U.S. merchant marine industry, but agricultural interests generally oppose it because, they contend, it raises the cost of shipping their goods, making them less competitive with foreign sources."
Of course, such a regulation could be waved by the President as George W Bush did during Hurricane Katrina when several nations pitched in to help.
And those miles of booms sitting in a Maine warehouse? Can't blame that one on BP, folks?
It reminds me of Katrina when firefighters and rescue personnel from all over the country were volunteering their services. Once accepted, they were sent to Atlanta for a training course on FEMA guidelines, etc-even getting classes on the history of FEMA and sexual harassment rules. Many gave up in disgust and went home. That wasn't Katrina's fault; that was the government's fault.
And in that vein, having a dozen government agencies down there in the Gulf tripping over each other stopping one effort after another due to their own regulations is only showing government incompetence.