"It's not just oil that's washing up on shore… it's failure"

That, and more, from Senator George LeMieux (R-FL):

He’s right… failure has washed up on shore… but that actually happened in November of 2008… and more and more of America is coming to grips with that reality.

This same Senator left the floor of the Senate and spoke with Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey:

Q: Well, its great to speak with you, and last time we talked you were very unhappy about the response in the Gulf from the federal government. What’s changed since the last time we spoke?

A: Well we made some progress but not enough. The progress that we’ve made is that the federal government has finally woken up a little and has issued an order to release skimmers that are around the country. There are some 2000 skimmers around the country. And the coast guard and the environmental protection agency on Monday issued an executive order which allows those skimmers, who may be required to be in certain ports, to make their way to the Gulf. Now we’ll see what happens. We’ll see if they actually make it there. And through my office we’re monitoring that situation and calling these various ports and seeing that the skimmers are hopefully on their way. That’ll be a big help. That’s half the issue. The other half of the issue is on the foreign side, whether or not these skimmers from other countries that have been offered are gonna be put to use. We’ve already lost a bunch of them. I’ve been talking about this one ship, the Swan, which was offered by a Dutch company on May 6th, that had the capacity to soak up 20,000 tons of oil and water mixture a day, that we did not get back to them, we never answered the call and they sent the ship someplace else. There is now a huge ship called a whale, the world’s largest skimmer. And that ship has gone to the Gulf of Mexico on its own accord. The Taiwanese owners have sent it even though there’s no guarantee it’ll be used. And hopefully we’ll get it put to work in the next couple of days. It is such a massive ship and has such capability that it could suck up at least 250 times that of what’s being sucked up by these kind of modified fishing boats which are currently skimming. 500,000 barrels of oily water per 8-10-hour cycle. You know, why these resources weren’t requested and called upon earlier, why we did not answer the call to all of these offers of foreign assistance, it makes no sense to me whatsoever. But at least we’re starting to see some progress. Let’s hope it comes to fruition.

Q: Senator LeMieux, you know the big problem with a whale and some of these is others is that they don’t pass EPA standards. They haven’t been extensively tested by the federal government. Because they might discharge oily water in to the Gulf of Mexico.

A: Isn’t that the most preposterous thing you’ve ever heard?

Q: It is absolutely absurd!

A: You know their gonna suck up oily water, take out 90, 95% of it, some may get discharged back and their gonna say, “Oh you’re discharging oil, we need to give you a permit, you have to apply for a permit”. What a bunch of b.s. right? It makes no sense at all.

Q: It’s like there’s no sense of urgency, in this, it’s like there’s no sense of emergency in this. I was living in Southern California, originally a Southern California boy. I was living in Southern California in the 1994 earthquake, the Northridge earthquake and it destroyed vital freeways. If you’ve ever been in LA you know how vital the freeways are. And these were major arteries that were out of commission and they would have been out of commission for two or three years had they followed the government regulation in rebuilding them. Instead, the state of california understood that there was an emergency going on and they removed all of these regulatory road blocks and just asked private companies to get these things built as fast as possible. Three months later they’re fixed. I mean, that’s the type of thing you expect governments to do when there’s an emergency like that. Do you see that sort of response in the Gulf, even right now?

A: No I don’t and its just all slow to come. And its only when, you know, we have meetings with the president and that we really raise this topic as much I and others have raised it, that you see any movement at all. There is no sense of urgency, I just, I can’t understand it. You know, this is not a republican or democrat issue. These are people who are suffering. You know, for God-sakes you would think a that democratic administration would do everything it could to protect the environment, let alone jobs when we’re having such difficult employment issues in this country. But there hasn’t been a sense of urgency, and you know frankly its just terribly disappointing. And its also disappointing in light of the fact that the president’s in wisconsin today giving a political speech, talking about why republicans are responsible for all the problems in this country, according to him. When he should be down in the Gulf, trying to make sure we have all the resources we available to solve the problem that we have.

Something needs to change.


And especially in November.

H/T to Andrea Shea King via email.

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