Common Sense for Americans

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Will the Present act on the Gulf Oil Spill?

Posted by commonsenseforamericans on June 11, 2010 at 3:53 PM

Today in an interview on fox News Channel, U.S. Coast GuardAdmiral stated that one of the reasons that foreign vessels that can provideadditional skimmers to gather the leaked oil from the catastrophic oil spill inthe Gulf of Mexico and impacting the Gulf States so dramatically, is the fact that the JonesAct prohibits foreign vessels.


The Jones Act specifically prohibits foreign vessels fromsailing from one U.S.port to another.  The purpose is toprotect U.S.flagged vessels from competition by foreign flagged vessels.  The argument to be made about this lawsinterference with free enterprise is for another day.


Admiral Allen indicated that waivers can be authorized butonly for one ship at a time and only through very cumbersome bureaucraticsystem. This is simply unacceptable.


What is at stake here is the dramatic disaster occurring inthe gulf states and the loss of wetlands, the income from the tourist industryand the loss of fishing resources to American businesses and their employees.


This law was never intended to block resources availablefrom foreign countries in a disaster scenario such as we are facing now.


For the Obama administration to not execute an immediateexecutive order waiving this act is most irresponsible.  At this point it is imperative that anappointment be made by President Obama that puts one person in chargerepresenting the president.  Thegovernors of each affected state must be able to communicate with thisindividual instantly on a 24 hour basis and through this individual have accessto the president. 


Any and all equipment and ships must be made available tothe states and BP in order to deal with this emergency.  If BP is uncooperative in any fashion, thenand only then should the U.S.government take complete charge of the cleanup effort.  BP must answer to the U.S.via the individual placed in charge on behalf of the president.


As a second priority, an investigation needs to be made asto the actual cause of the accident in order to first of all find ways to prohibitany such event in the future.  The lastthing that needs to be done is to determine the ultimate responsibility onwhether the cause was negligence or “an act of God.”  Accidents happen and without question thefinancial responsibility is BP’s.  However,demonizing the company and thereby causing irrational financial decisions ofthe stockholders is unwise though in the administrations view, politicallyprofitable.  BP is still a veryprofitable company and can remain so despite their financial liability. 


For the President or members of Congress and the Cabinet tothreaten and demonize the company can only result in further diminishing BP’sfinancial condition and ultimately leading to its bankruptcy.  And if that happens, the U.S.taxpayer will be on the hook as always.


The priorities are; clean up payment of all liabilities,find the cause, assign ultimate responsibility.


It’s not really that hard, if the administrations focus wereon solving problems, not how to spin it all in a political sense.


Fred Speckmann



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