That’s what the Dutch thought also. Apparently just three days after the Deepwater Horizon platform exploded and began to hemorrhage petroleum, the Netherlands offered a helping hand. They wanted to send ships to clear up the spill via Dutch sweeping arms skimmers. The US said thanks but no thanks.
“Almost a month later – a month too late, of course – Washington did make a request to send the sweeping arms to Houston in Texas,” says Mr Visser. “They arrived in three 747s, ten days later. They were then transported to Louisiana to be mounted on ships.”
All told, thirteen countries have offered to help us clean up the Gulf, and the Obama administration has turned them all down.
According to one Dutch newspaper, European firms could complete the oil spill clean up by themselves in just four months, and three months if they work with the United States, which is much faster than the estimated nine months it would take the Obama administration to go it alone. The major stumbling block is a protectionist piece of legislation called the Jones Act which requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried in U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens. But in an emergency this law can be temporarily waived as DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff did after Katrina. Each day our European allies are prevented from helping us speed up the clean up is another day that Gulf fishing and tourism jobs die.
There is no reason to blame Barack Obama or any President for the accident and explosions that caused this oil spill, but it is very clear that the President and his administration has exacerbated the crisis by refusing a helping hand from those with the experience to clean up the continued flow of Oil into the Gulf.