This is so insane, I don't want to believe it. Part of me thinks it has to be a mistake. No way would Barack Obama go as far as to place his loyalty to unions above cleaning up the oil in the Gulf Coast, right? Dead birds, sea turtles, dolphins, crustaceans, and other marine life are washing up on Louisiana's coast along with clumps of thick, sticky, orange, and gooey oil. Miles and miles of coastal Louisiana marshlands are at risk of being destroyed forever. Yet Obama has refused to lift the Jones Act, which would allow foreign ships to assist us in laying boom and skimming oil. Why? Some say he wants to appease the unions. Robert Gibbs confirmed in yesterday's press briefing that the Jones Act is still in effect because the situation hasn't warranted lifting it. He said the United States has all the help it needs right now.
President Obama is impeding clean-up efforts in the Gulf by kowtowing to unions and members of the American maritime industry, critics have charged in recent days. At issue is the president's refusal to waive the Jones Act, a century-old law that effectively bars foreign-owned ships from moving between U.S. ports, a necessary component of participating in the cleanup effort.
When asked why President Obama hasn't waived the Jones Act -- which President Bush put on hold to facilitate Katrina rescue efforts -- White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said a suspension wasn't necessary.
But Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida Democrat, and others say the act is keeping boats from getting on the water to lay boom and skim oil.
The man in charge, Admiral Thad Allen, said, "If we have a reason to consider a waiver of the Jones Act, we certainly will do that...None has been presented to me."