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Oil Spill Cleanup Efforts in Alabama: An Exegesis of Governmental Ineptitude

The Gulf oil spill has illuminated chilling realities about our federal government's incapability to handle genuine crises. Without a doubt, local officials in the Gulf region have been quicker and more resourceful in their handling of the disaster and the federal government has been a huge impediment. Dick Morris explained how the federal bureaucracy has greatly harmed cleanup efforts:

According to state disaster relief officials, Alabama conceived a plan -- early on -- to erect huge booms offshore to shield the approximately 200 miles of the state's coastline from oil. Rather than install the relatively light and shallow booms in use elsewhere, the state (with assistance from the Coast Guard) canvassed the world and located enough huge, heavy booms -- some weighing tons and seven meters high -- to guard their coast.

But ... no sooner were the booms in place than the Coast Guard, perhaps under pressure from the public comments of James Carville, uprooted them and moved them to guard the Louisiana coastline instead.

So Alabama decided on a backup plan. It would buy snare booms to catch the oil as it began to wash up on the beaches. But ... the Fish and Wildlife Administration vetoed the plan, saying it would endanger sea turtles that nest on the beaches.

So Alabama -- ever resourceful -- decided to hire 400 workers to patrol the beaches in person, scooping up oil that had washed ashore. But ... OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) refused to allow them to work more than 20 minutes out of every hour and required an hour-long break after 40 minutes of work, so the cleanup proceeded at a very slow pace.

This should be a wake-up call for every American who takes comfort in the "protection" of a huge federal government. The erosion of local and state rights under a massive bureaucracy paralyzes our ability to respond to such disasters.


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Comments (15)

<a href="http://ww... (Below threshold)
(SF Gate) -- It turns out that San Francisco's eco-conscious Mayor Gavin Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, own a piece of the deepwater rig at the center of the gulf oil disaster.

According to the mayor's most recently filed economic disclosure statement, last year the couple invested between $10,000 and $100,000 in Transocean Inc. - the company whose ruptured deepwater rig, which is leased to BP, is spewing millions of gallons of oil, endangering wildlife and beaches all along the Gulf Coast.

Just last month, Newsom told the San Diego area East County Magazine that "the environmental catastrophe devastating the Gulf of Mexico is a tragic reminder of why we must take a stand against the oil companies and oppose all offshore drilling off California's precious coast."

I guess I need to update my definition of "eco-conscious"
"to allow them to work more... (Below threshold)

"to allow them to work more than 20 minutes out of every hour and required an hour-long break after 40 minutes of work.."

Where do these regulations come from?
Really. Who works under these conditions, except for, perhaps, Obama himself.

Common sense is dead, how ... (Below threshold)

Common sense is dead, how do you stop attempts to keep the environment from being devastated, by claiming that the cure could cause environmental damage. It's like saying it hurts when I do this and then continue to do it. They don't want to clean this up, they need the pictures to pass their communistic cap and trade. These people need to be put away for OUR own good.

I still can't get over that... (Below threshold)

I still can't get over that these are the people that are going to administer our health care. The quality of the care one receives will be dependent on who you know and how you vote. Anybody with a D behind their name in Nov. I am voting against.

""to allow them to work mor... (Below threshold)
retired military:

""to allow them to work more than 20 minutes out of every hour and required an hour-long break after 40 minutes of work..""

Obviously union workers. Why do you think the oil booms were moved and then denied in the first place.

What's truly ironic is that... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

What's truly ironic is that if the oil spill were headed for Malibu or the Hamptons then liberals in Big Gov't would break every environmental regulation on the books in order to stop it.

"Bestest Administration, ev... (Below threshold)

"Bestest Administration, evah!". Can hardly wait to see how they implement ObamaCare. And they've done WONDERS for the economy!

This should be a wake-up... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

This should be a wake-up call for every American who takes comfort in the "protection" of a huge federal government.

Unfortunately, these are exactly the people who will not learn the lesson...

Berry dared not attend, as ... (Below threshold)

Berry dared not attend, as he had a prior committment to global destruction.

"Where do these regulations... (Below threshold)

"Where do these regulations come from?" 2. Posted by Hank

OSHA - and the real kicker is that they can only work 2 hours a day.

Yes, Alabamians are resourceful. We don't wait for assholes from FEDCO to 'give' us permission to *do* something. Note that when we did something the morons stole our equipment.

Unfortunately those ignorant bastards are more concerned with their damn regulations protecting wildlife and sand from being disturbed by humans than they are by oil.

We understand Chicago politics but I don't think the (P)resident understands our way of life. We take care of our own, and like it even less when we're told by ignorant bureaucrats what we can and can't do.

Which is exactly why each g... (Below threshold)

Which is exactly why each governor of the states involved should have told the Hussein regime and the rest of the bureaucratic shlubs to STUFF IT and proceed on their own paths. Ask for volunteers to do clean up work, run boats, etc. I'm willing to bet there would have been thousands. If the state of Alabama had paid for its own cranes, what would the Feds have done...blow them up??? Shoot the operators? When imbeciles are in charge they must be ignored.

Marist poll: 33% of Demo... (Below threshold)

Marist poll: 33% of Democrats said that Obama's handling of the spill is as bad or worse than Bush's handling of Katrina.

All the gulf states should ... (Below threshold)

All the gulf states should secede from the union. You did it once (except Florida), you can do it again. Just imagine what you could get done!

The governor of Alabama oug... (Below threshold)
jim m:

The governor of Alabama ought to call out the national guard and order them to shoot to kill any federal worker who tries to stop the clean up or commandeer their equipment.

I think Barry would hear that message.

You did it once... (Below threshold)
You did it once (except Florida)
I'm pretty sure Florida did too. A distant cousin of mine even held a leadership role in making it happen, back then.

Fortunately, I'm descended from a Union Army veteran.






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