"The effort to clean up the Gulf has been plagued by a multitude of leadership failures over the 73 days of the crisis, but this week it seemed as though a glimmer of hope had arrived. The Obama administration claimed that it would start accepting help from foreign countries, and BP pledged to get more boats to the Gulf to remove crude oil as fast as possible. The AP reports that those efforts may be a sham — a make-work effort intended to drive numbers but keep boats beached:
BP and the Obama administration face mounting complaints that they are ignoring foreign offers of equipment and making little use of the fishing boats and volunteers available to help clean up what may now be the biggest spill ever in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Coast Guard said there have been 107 offers of help from 44 nations, ranging from technical advice to skimmer boats and booms. But many of those offers are weeks old, and only a small number have been accepted, with the vast majority still under review, according to a list kept by the State Department.
And in recent days and weeks, for reasons BP has never explained, many fishing boats hired for the cleanup have done a lot of waiting around.
Waiting around? Isn’t there plenty of work to be done? One might think so, but boat captains are complaining that the situation has no leadership. BP has told them to remain at the dock while paying them a substantial flat-rate fee"