It is amazing to me that 70 days into the BP oil spill we now learn that the U.S. will now accept assistance from the international community to stop the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Just a small blurb. A few paragraphs for the worst environmental disaster our country has faced.
I have heard so many conflicting bits and pieces about the Jones Act. What is this about the Jones Act preventing foreign countries from assisting with the clean up? Some reports say that the act which requires all U.S. port-to-port ships fly under the American flag is keeping foreign ships from assisting with skimming and recovery efforts. President Bush waived the act following Hurricane Katrina. President Obama has not waived the act and claims that no one has requested a waiver of the act. Other reports say that is not the case. It has been reported that Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has filed legislation requesting that waiver.
As usual it is difficult to get a straight answer on anything from the feds. The State Department has released a little document that outlines the offers to help from foreign governments - all with the helpful notes "under consideration" and all REQUIRING reimbursement for their assistance.
And when you have "friends" like these in the oil business who needs enemies? Remember that Obama-Chavez friendly handshake?
So how about another nice little chart for us to clear things up since we can't seem to get straight answers from BP or anyone else?
How much oil has spilled?
How much oil has been recovered?
How many aid offers from foreign governments were referred to BP?
How many did they accept?
How many foreign governments are offering assistance to the United States with no expectation of reimbursement?
And it isn't just foreign governments BP and the feds are rebuffing. I have read and personally heard so many reports about BP rejecting offers from volunteers to help clean up tar balls on Florida beaches, rejecting assistance from experts to assess the damage, and blocking reporters from beaches that a chart just won't capture all that data. We need something more like a catalog.
I have one final question for both Tony Heyward and President Obama.
Do you go to sleep at night knowing you have done absolutely everything in your power to clean up this mess?
I'm sure they must realize that 70 days into this disaster it has become their legacy.
Last week, this article in the New York Times added to the mountain of research and writing about teacher quality with an article enticingly titled, “The Case for $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers.” Now, as much as I might like to argue that, I too deserve to be paid $320,000 a year for my ve