[Guest post by DRJ]
Day 74 after the Oil Spill and the A-Whale is still waiting in the Gulf for the Coast Guard to give it permission to start skimming oil:
My partial transcript (emphasis supplied):
“Right now the crew of this ship is waiting on final permission from the Unified Command to start skimming oil in the Gulf of Mexico. There’s a couple of issues that are being looked at right now. First of all, one of them is a safety issue. A ship this big out on the Gulf of Mexico needs about a half mile radius all the way around to operate safely, so they are trying to figure out if that’s possible.
There’s also some environmental concerns. Part of the way this ship works is that it brings in oil and water. It separates that and the water gets thrown back out into the Gulf of Mexico and they keep the oil. They’re also looking into whether or not that water that’s going to be discharged, what are the environmental impact of that. So that’s one of the things slowing it down.
But everyone aboard here thinks that it’s just a matter of time before this vessel is put in to fight the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and the crew told us that they were being dispatched out into the Gulf of Mexico last night. They are waiting to see if they can at least do some tests for the Coast Guard to show them what that ship can do. Admiral Thad Allen said that he’s not quite ready to put this into play, that there are still some more questions that they want to look into. But he says he is hopeful that this will be a valuable tool in the fight to clean up this oil.”
This is beyond ridiculous. That the ship may be too big to easily turn or that it may not get 100% of the oil are clearly frivolous reasons to prevent it from deploying. The Obama Administration may be Hopeful things will Change but it isn’t doing much to make that happen.
Meanwhile, the newest models say there is a high chance oil will reach South Florida.