Friday, June 18, 2010

Oil Gush: Day 59

Everyone keeps asking WHY the Obama administration has turned down all the offers from other countries to get this oil spill under control and to clean up what's already there. WHY?! No one was answering.

Finally, Ollie North gave an answer. The Jones Act. Bush lifted it immediately after Katrina to get help in there, but Obama hasn't.

"...Within days of the oil spill, several European nations and thirteen countries in total apparently offered the Obama administration ships to assist in the clean-up of the Gulf. When asked about this, a State Department press spokesman refused to identify any offers of assistance.

According to one newspaper, European firms could complete the task in four months, rather than an estimated nine months if done only by the U.S. Working with the U.S., the cleanup could be accomplished in three months.

The Jones Act, which is supposedly about protecting jobs, is actually killing jobs. The jobs of fishermen, people working in tourism and others who live along the Gulf Coast and earn a living there are being severely impacted. There are also additional private sector jobs which are NOT being created in the United States since the Jones Act effectively prices U.S. based companies out of the ability to be competitive on the competitive global market.

As we strive to develop new technologies for a cleaner environment at sea, the Jones Act continues to hobble our own capabilities, sometimes with devastating results..." (Read the whole story)

So, once again we have to ask why? Why did Bush immediately halt this for the people of the Gulf and Obama hasn't? So I decided to see if the Jones Act somehow benefits UNIONS --it was the only logical explanation for Obama's reluctance.

And it does, the maritime labor unions.

"Why do effective and proven foreign clean up ships remain on the sidelines? Carafano believes it may have something to do with the Obama administration’s close relationship with labor unions.

“Cause this is a big thing for unions,” Carafano said. “The unions see it as … protecting jobs. They hate when the Jones Act gets waived, and they pound on politicians when they do that. So … are we giving in to unions and not doing everything we can, or is there some kind of impediment that we don't know about?" (source)

Today is day 59 of the oil spill --that means we could be two months in tot he projected cleanup with foreign aid...with only 30 to go... If we do find that the steadfast adherence to the Jones Act was in deference to labor unions and people and wildlife suffer...?

So to all the people saying, "Well, really, what could Obama do?!" Here's something he should have done on DAY ONE.

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