This has made the rounds (honestly I don’t even know if I might have already linked to it in another publication/blog) but here it is again for the old external memory drive, because it’s JUST. SO. AMAZINGLY. BAAAAD.
Why does neither the U.S. government nor U.S. energy companies have on hand the cleanup technology available in Europe? Ironically, the superior European technology runs afoul of U.S. environmental rules. The voracious Dutch vessels, for example, continuously suck up vast quantities of oily water, extract most of the oil and then spit overboard vast quantities of nearly oil-free water. Nearly oil-free isn’t good enough for the U.S. regulators, who have a standard of 15 parts per million — if water isn’t at least 99.9985% pure, it may not be returned to the Gulf of Mexico. …
The Americans, overwhelmed by the catastrophic consequences of the BP spill, finally relented and took the Dutch up on their offer — but only partly. Because the U.S. didn’t want Dutch ships working the Gulf, the U.S. airlifted the Dutch equipment to the Gulf and then retrofitted it to U.S. vessels. And rather than have experienced Dutch crews immediately operate the oil-skimming equipment, to appease labour unions the U.S. postponed the clean-up operation to allow U.S. crews to be trained.
A catastrophe that could have been averted is now playing out. With oil increasingly reaching the Gulf coast, the emergency construction of sand berns to minimize the damage is imperative. Again, the U.S. government priority is on U.S. jobs, with the Dutch asked to train American workers rather than to build the berns. According to Floris Van Hovell, a spokesman for the Dutch embassy in Washington, Dutch dredging ships could complete the berms in Louisiana twice as fast as the U.S. companies awarded the work. “Given the fact that there is so much oil on a daily basis coming in, you do not have that much time to protect the marshlands,” he says, perplexed that the U.S. government could be so focussed on side issues with the entire Gulf Coast hanging in the balance.
So, pelicans flopping around covered in tar is better than nearly clean because it isn’t perfectly clean, and the whole Gulf has to be imperiled further to appease the unions. And my head is exploding slightly with how inadequate that is to describe the colossal idiocy of all that’s contained in this article. So basically, they don’t actually care about the Gulf at all.
It actually reminds me a bit about the Yucca Mountain hold up, that the amount of radiation coming from it has to be such a miniscule amount for a length of one million years, when homo sapiens are only 500,000 years old.