Monday, June 14, 2010

Obama Now Tapping Foreign Aid For Gulf Oil Spill

Better late then never... Also, another thing that could have been done differently.

"Four weeks after the nation's worst environmental disaster, the Obama administration saw no need to accept offers of state-of-the-art skimmers, miles of boom or technical assistance from nations around the globe with experience fighting oil spills.
That time has come.

In the past week, the United States submitted its second request to the European Union for any specialized equipment to contain the oil now seeping onto the Gulf of Mexico's marshes and beaches, and it accepted Canada's offer of 9,842 feet of boom. The government is soliciting additional boom and skimmers from nearly two dozen countries and international organizations.

In late May, the administration accepted Mexico's offer of two skimmers and 13,779 feet of boom; a Dutch offer of three sets of Koseq sweeping arms, which attach to the sides of ships and gather oil; and eight skimming systems offered by Norway.

"As we understand what we need and identify domestic and foreign sources, we will act," said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, who said the United States has received 21 aid offers from 17 countries and four international groups. "We are maintaining contact with these countries, we are grateful for the offers, and we will take them up on these offers."

But some lawmakers and outside experts are questioning whether the administration has been too slow to capitalize on these offers

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