Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 69: Thad Allen Needs to Go

Update:  Thanks to Jim Geraghty for the link!

The federal response to the Gulf crisis has not improved this week as far as I can tell.  Admiral Thad Allen's Friday briefing makes that abundantly clear.

This man need to be replaced.

At issue is the question of skimmers in the Gulf.  Karen Nelson of the Biloxi Sun Herald reported on the anger and frustration along the Gulf at the lack of skimmers along the Mississippi Gulf coast.  U.S. Representative Gene Taylor was apoplectic and beginning to sound like Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal:

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.”

Admiral Allen was asked about the lack of skimmers by Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald.  His response?

The discussions we are having with the Navy and other folks right now is the availability of skimmers that are on standby because they might be needed for a spill someplace else and how we might go about assessing the availability of those resources. So I would separate out the resources that the Navy had that they've already given to us and the discussions we're having across the entire country where we have equipment that's out there as a requirement—legal requirement to cover spill response of those areas and how we might free those up, and that's a work in progress inside the administration right now.

Got that?  We've got skimmers on standby but can't use them because they might be needed somewhere else. Her next question was whether or not the Jones Act has been waived.  Allen's response:

Oh, there are a lot of foreign vessels operating offshore, Carol. The Jones Act—we have had no request for Jones Act waivers. If the vessels are operating outside state waters, which is three miles and beyond, they don't require a waiver. All that we require is an Affirmation of Reciprocity, so if there ever was a spill in those countries and we want to send skimming equipment, that we would be allowed to do that, as well, and that hasn't become an issue yet, either.

Allen should check his mail more often.  One request was made on June 17.  John Cornyn sent a request on June 22.  On June 18, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison filed a bill requesting waiver of the Jones Act.  Florida Senator LeMieux and Rep. Jeff Miller requested a waiver two weeks ago.

Allen's excuse that foreign vessels are working the spill three miles and more offshore is lame.  A waiver of the Jones Act would get foreign skimmers near the shore where they could protect the fragile coast.

Overall there are just too many cooks in the kitchen.  What is needed is take-charge leadership to make the tough calls and get the job done.  There's just no excuse for the lack of skimmers in the Gulf.  Every available asset should be utilized.

When does incompetence cross the line and become criminal?


(More at Memeorandum)

(Cross posted at Potluck)

8 comments:

Andy said...

Pat, I've got a friend from MS that is as critical as they come when it comes to Democrats.

But, he thinks Gene Taylor is the only sane one of the bunch.

ObozO is going to have to do the Dubya thing, and send somebody like General Honore (coincidentally this fellow almost married his niece) down there with full authority.

Pat, the truth is (IMHO) that BHO doesn't want this fixed any time soon. For a variety of agenda driven reasons he wants it to remain a mess. The guy is evil, and as far as I can see has no real desire to move quickly here.

10ksnooker said...

A clue, the EPA's onw manual on oil spills says that AT ALL COSTS, the oil must be kept off the beaches and out of the estuaries. Does this really look like what the federal government is doing?

And what does Thad Allen know about oil spills...

Red said...

I'm with Andy on this one. This oil spill is giant cluster f-bomb because our government wants it that way.

jill said...

Pat, you've been quoted by Jim Geraghty.:)
http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/230349/enjoy-america-slow-response-spill-fast-response-joe-barton

Pat Austin said...

@Jill,
Neat! That's a nice way to start the day! :)
Thanks!

Bob Belvedere said...

Quoted from and Linked to at:
Go Pat Austin, Go Pat Austin Go!

Anonymous said...

Pat,

Look at it this way, if there is no leadership, it is easier to point fingers the other way. No one is responsible for this except BP and the Government has abdicated responsibility to them. The Southern States are at RISK, NOT THE US. We should know that we can not depend on the FEDS for leadership - NOT their role. We must have a Unified Southern States Command that acts like a UN body for communications, deployment, and resource coordination. The USSC MUST be funded by the FEDS and by BP and it must be made up of teams that operate from a Disaster Management Center with local and remote resource teams.
David ... www.endpointmedia.com

David said...

Pat,

Look at it this way, if there is no leadership, it is easier to point fingers the other way. No one is responsible for this except BP and the Government has abdicated responsibility to them. The Southern States are at RISK, NOT THE US. We should know that we can not depend on the FEDS for leadership - NOT their role. We must have a Unified Southern States Command that acts like a UN body for communications, deployment, and resource coordination. The USSC MUST be funded by the FEDS and by BP and it must be made up of teams that operate from a Disaster Management Center with local and remote resource teams.
David ...FOX10 ecap invention