Gulf spill lunacy – Coast Guard edition

The Gulf spill hits just keep on coming. If there is any way at all to turn a disaster into a clusterf**k, rest assured that the government will find it. According to this story (from ABC News), the Coast Guard found a way to thwart the state of Louisiana’s recovery efforts.

Eight days ago, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal ordered barges to begin vacuuming crude oil out of his state’s oil-soaked waters. Today, against the governor’s wishes, those barges sat idle, even as more oil flowed toward the Louisiana shore.

“The Coast Guard came and shut them down,” Jindal said. “You got men on the barges in the oil, and they have been told by the Coast Guard, ‘Cease and desist. Stop sucking up that oil.'”

A Coast Guard representative told ABC News today that it shares the same goal as the governor.

“We are all in this together. The enemy is the oil,” said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Dan Lauer.

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But the Coast Guard ordered the stoppage because of reasons that Jindal found frustrating. The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges.

Huh? WTF? These barges have been sucking up oil for eight days and now the Coast Guard decides it needs to confirm they have fire extinguishers and life jackets?

Fifty-nine days into the crisis, it still can be tough to figure out who is in charge in Louisiana, and the problem appears to be the same in other Gulf Coast states.

In Alabama today, Gov. Bob Riley said that he’s had problems with the Coast Guard, too.

Riley, R-Ala., asked the Coast Guard to find ocean boom tall enough to handle strong waves and protect his shoreline.

The Coast Guard went all the way to Bahrain to find it, but when it came time to deploy it?

“It was picked up and moved to Louisiana,” Riley said today.

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The governor said the problem is there’s still no single person giving a “yes” or “no.” While the Gulf Coast governors have developed plans with the Coast Guard’s command center in the Gulf, things begin to shift when other agencies start weighing in, like the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“It’s like this huge committee down there,” Riley said, “and every decision that we try to implement, any one person on that committee has absolute veto power.”

If you want something so totally FUBAR that there isn’t even hope for repair, call in the government.

SHEEESH!

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