Giant Cleanup Ship Met with Puny Response from Bureaucrats
Ernest Istook /
After our government claimed that we did not need or could not obtain larger ships to skim the Gulf oil spill, a giant-capacity skimming ship has arrived in U.S. waters. Yet our government has us wondering whether it will permit the ship to join the cleanup effort.
The problem is not simply the Jones Act; it’s also that our Environmental Protection Agency may squelch the ability to use this giant ship.
The S. S. A-Whale is not like the mere 4,000-barrel-a-day vessels we’ve been using. Its owners say this ship, a converted oil tanker, can gather 500,000 barrels a day. By comparison, say the owners, the entire fleet our government has authorized for BP has only gathered 600,000 barrels—TOTAL—in the 70 days since the Deepwater Horizon explosion. (NOTE: 500,000 barrels equals 21-million gallons.)
The A-Whale is the essence of an international ship—built in South Korea, modified in Portugal, owned by Taiwanese and flagged in Liberia. And that is part of the problem. Even if it stays farther offshore than the 3-mile limit of America’s Jones Act, it still requires approval by the U.S. Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency before BP can hire the A-Whale and put it to work. (more…)