As tar balls from the BP oil spill wash into Galveston, Texas, Congressman Ron Paul has slammed federal interference in the relief effort that is hampering local attempts to mitigate the consequences of the disaster, mimicking how the feds deliberately botched the response to hurricane Katrina and made the crisis worse.
“They have done a lot to interfere,” Paul told National Political Correspondent Jessica Yellin on CNN’s “John King USA.”
“A lot of local officials, property owners and state officials have wanted to do more over in Louisiana and Mississippi and the federal government, the fish and wildlife people, the EPA and others, they come in and they prohibit them from doing it,” said Paul.
The Congressman also added that if large numbers of National Guard troops were not deployed oversees fighting endless wars, there might be more manpower to call upon in aiding relief efforts.
“If all our states had their Guard units back here maybe they would have the manpower to do more to help clean up the beaches and prevent the oil from coming in, but, no, our Guard units are all over the world fighting wars we don’t need,” said Paul.
In hindsight, it’s becoming clear that the government has deliberately botched the response and prevented local authorities from doing their jobs, just as FEMA deliberately sabotaged the state response to Hurricane Katrina in order to make the crisis worse and create the pretext for a police state response, gun confiscation and ultimately more federal power.
Numerous reports have surfaced of locals and state authorities being prevented by BP contractors and the U.S. Coast Guard from helping to address the devastation the spill has created in the region.
One example of undue federal interference occurred last month when Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal ordered the state’s fleet of sixteen vacuum barges to clean up oil in the Louisiana marshes. The U.S. Coast Guard intercepted the barges for the purposes of an “inspection,” but then promptly failed to conduct any inspection and merely ordered them to turn around and head back to the dock.
While stifling the efforts of local authorities to adequately battle the consequences of the spill, the federal government also refused help from foreign governments who had immediately offered sophisticated technology that could have already fixed the problem.
Obama initially blocked international help, citing the Jones Act, which forbids foreign ships from operating between U.S. ports, and thereby preventing the use of sophisticated technology which foreign firms insist could have sealed the leak.
The Jones Act can be waived in in cases of national emergencies or in cases of strategic interest. Belgian company DEME contends that it has the specialist vessels to fix the oil leak within two to four months, technology the U.S. does not have. By taking bids on a contract to fix the oil leak from international companies, Obama could have the problem solved within a matter of weeks, but he immediately refused the help of “thirteen entities that had offered the U.S. oil spill assistance within about two weeks of the Horizon rig explosion.”
Obama’s two month delay in refusing international help ensured that the window of opportunity was missed to fix the leak before the start of the hurricane season, which will make the crisis immeasurably worse.
The arrival on July 1st of a Taiwanese “super-skimmer” which can collect 500,000 barrels per day of contaminated water was nearly 10 weeks overdue, and inclement weather has now delayed the device from even being tested in the Gulf. Had Obama immediately accepted international support, the majority of the oil could have been cleaned up before the hurricane season began, avoiding the threat that large amounts of oil will be dumped onshore, which if it occurs could mandate massive evacuations of the affected areas.
As we have highlighted, the longer the crisis drags on and the worse it gets, the more political capital Obama accrues in pursuit of his nightmare “green economy” carbon tax agenda. Viewed from this perspective, the federal government has no motivation whatsoever to cap the oil leak or clean up the spill.
Article written by Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, July 6, 2010