Pat, at And So it Goes in Shreveport:
Admiral Allen was asked about the lack of skimmers by Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald. His response?There are unconfirmed reports of tar balls being sighted in the Tampa Bay. For me, that isn't too close to home-it is home. A couple of days ago I asked whether our president is incompetent or evil. "Evil" won out hands down with the general consensus being that "nobody can be this incompetent." Currently there are protesters spread out across the Gulf states. Instead of protesting BP they should be protesting an administration who is intentionally allow our Gulf Coasts to be destroyed in order to advance their "green" agenda.
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.
Pat is correct when she says that Thad Allen needs to go. Let me add that he should take a certain big earred jackass with him.
Read the rest of Pat's post.