Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Slippery EPA Fouls Gulf Coast
Next time you have a conversation at a desk, water cooler or traffic jam regarding the BP Oil Gusher in the Gulf, remember this.
Financial Times: "In sharp contrast to Dutch preparedness before the fact and the Dutch instinct to dive into action once an emergency becomes apparent, witness the American reaction to the Dutch offer of help. The U.S. government responded with "Thanks but no thanks," remarked Visser, despite BP's desire to bring in the Dutch equipment and despite the no-lose nature of the Dutch offer --the Dutch government offered the use of its equipment at no charge. Even after the U.S. refused, the Dutch kept their vessels on standby, hoping the Americans would come round. By May 5, the U.S. had not come round. To the contrary, the U.S. had also turned down offers of help from 12 other governments, most of them with superior expertise and equipment --unlike the U.S., Europe has robust fleets of Oil Spill Response Vessels that sail circles around their make-shift U.S. counterparts.
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.
When ships in U.S. waters take in oil-contaminated water, they are forced to store it. As U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, the official in charge of the clean-up operation, explained in a press briefing on June 11, "We have skimmed, to date, about 18 million gallons of oily water--the oil has to be decanted from that [and] our yield is usually somewhere around 10% or 15% on that." In other words, U.S. ships have mostly been removing water from the Gulf, requiring them to make up to 10 times as many trips to storage facilities where they off-load their oil-water mixture, an approach Koops calls "crazy.""
So the Dutch ships, which were being provided to us by a willing ally free of charge, were turned down.
Not because of some injured pride regarding American Oceans, but because of a unconstitutional, monolithic, dangerous, and morally bankrupt bureaucracy run the Executive branch.
Cleaning some water a lot of the way isn't good enough, this EPA requires that water be more clean then the water I drink from my tap.
Rather then utilizing a smart and functional option to make the best of a bad situation, the EPA has denied the Gulf Coast of valuable water.
Ironic, that in the same week that we have seen a Healthcare program run by the Federal Government paying for infanticide, that we have an Environmental Protection Agency making its best efforts to ruin the Gulf Coast.
Posted by RobertDWood at 11:22 PM