By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
A few thoughts about the oil spill
Placeholder Image


On April 30 I sent the following e-mail to most of the people I know. My main concern in sending the e-mail was the possibility that I might be accused of exaggerating, of overreaching or letting my disaffection with the policies of the current president and his administration override my judgment. Here it is:

“Today we are looking at a monumental ecological disaster with national consequence. The administration has been painfully slow to respond. Had they acted earlier, and with force, we might not be watching oil slop into a sensitive estuary.

“I realize that what I am about to say will place me solidly in the camp of the crazies, among the people who wear-tin foil hats to keep space aliens from giving them instructions.

“Has anyone considered the possibility that the president, with advice from his more radical advisors such as Van Jones, is knowingly allowing this disaster to happen so they can use this crisis to further their far left, progressive agenda?”

After all, who was it that said: “Never let a crisis go to waste?”

As I have watched this nightmare in the Gulf Coast unfold, I am slowly coming to the conclusion that I may have not been wrong. Here are some observations and questions:

After the oil began to gush, within days the governor of Louisiana asked for permission to dredge sand and install sand berms to protect the fragile estuaries in the southern part of his state. Our government refused to grant permission stating that they needed to study the potential ecological impact of installing the berms. About 40 days later, after the oil had contaminated the estuaries, the administration “about faced” and said the berms could be built.  

But on June 23, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department shut down the dredging operation to provide sand for the berms. The USFWD has concerns about where sand is being dredged. The department says that one area where sand is being dredged is a sensitive section of the Chandeleur Islands.  The federal government has asked Louisiana to move the dredge site two miles further out to sea. How much more time is this going to cost?

There is a technology for removing oil out of sea water by using what are called skimmer vessels. The largest seawater oil spill in history which took place at the end of the first gulf war was cleaned up using this technology. When the Deepwater Horizon well began to gush oil, 17 countries around the world offered to send skimmer ships to help us.  To date our government has not accepted their offer of assistance.

It is because of something called the Jones Act, which was passed in the 1930s.  The act makes it illegal for foreign flagged ships to work in U.S. territorial waters. The president of the United States has the power to temporarily override sections of the act to allow foreign ships in to work.  Right after Hurricane Katrina, President Bush waived the act because we needed passenger liners from other countries to house victims of the flood.  

The federal government has not asked President Obama to waive the act because, as both Carol Browner and Admiral Allen said, they have not received a request from the states for a waver. This is simply a weak excuse because the various states do not have control of the territorial waters. The waters are under the jurisdiction of the federal government, specifically the Coast Guard. They did not need a request from a state.

Additionally, there are more than 2,000 skimmer boats inside the United States. The government has not authorized them to be moved from their locations and used because, listen carefully: They might be needed where they are in case there is an oil spill at the sites where they are currently located.  

Below is a link to a video of Florida Sen. Lemieux, posted on June 23, discussing the fact that the government will not allow skimmers to be brought in.  Currently, there are only 20 skimmers working off the coast of Florida.

Check it out:

Everyone needs to pay close attention. The legislation that was recently passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and, because of the oil crisis, will soon be debated in the Senate, is designed to lessen our dependence on oil, gas and coal by raising the cost of using them up to equal the cost of using “alternative” energy sources.  

The effect will be to drastically raise our electricity rates and the cost of gasoline to “force” us to bend to the government’s will.  President Obama even admits that under his cap and trade legislation, “electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket.”  

Here is a link to a video clip of the president actually saying that electricity rates will skyrocket:

Our government is getting in the way of the clean up.  On April 30, I predicted they might do that to make the crisis worse in order to push their political agenda. Was I wrong? Did I exaggerate?  Did I let my political views get in the way of my judgment?  Maybe, maybe not.
Either it is being done on purpose or it is bureaucratic incompetence.  If it is either of these, it is disturbing and frightening.

— David Freeman
Richmond Hill

Sign up for our e-newsletters