A former official of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says the Obama administration didn’t act quickly enough to institute the burn plan that would have burned-off the oil in the earliest stages and before it oil slick drifted closer to land – and that’s not the only problem. When they did begin the burn, it was with the wrong wind conditions. Mammoth screw-up! To add to the embarrassing situation, we had to try to borrow burn equipment from other countries – “for a few days.”
[Ron] Gouget said when he was at NOAA the agency created a plan that required burning off an oil spill in the region in its earliest state, if the prevailing winds would not push the smoke and soot from the operation inland. The plan is still in effect, but was not activated last week by NOAA.
“They had pre-approval. The whole reason the plan was created was so we could pull the trigger right away instead of waiting tend days to get permission,” Gouget told the Register. “If you read the pre-approval plan, it speaks about Grand Isle, where the spill is. When the wind is blowing offshore out of the north, you have preapproval to burn in that region. If the wind is coming onshore, like it is now, you can’t burn at Grand Isle. They waited to do the test burn until the wind started coming onshore.
“This whole thing has been a daily strip tease. At first they thought it was just the diesel, then they said the well wasn’t leaking. It’s unfortunate they didn’t get the burning going right away. They could have gotten 90 percent of the oil before it spread.”
Al.com (Alabama.com) says the “federal government” didn’t have “a single fire boom on hand.” The “fire boom” is the piece of equipment that actually burns the oil:
When federal officials called, Elastec/American Marine, shipped the only boom it had in stock, Jeff Bohleber, chief financial officer for Elastec, said….”
At federal officials’ behest, the company began calling customers in other countries and asking if the U.S. government could borrow their fire booms for a few days, he said.
A single fire boom being towed by two boats can burn up at 1,800 barrels of oil an hour, said Bohleber. That translates to 75,000 gallons an hour, raising the possibility that the spill could have been contained at the accident scene 100 miles from shore.
Incompetence or a plan? What better opportunity for a Liberal administration to sabotage offshore drilling, once and for all.