Saturday, June 26, 2010

When Eco-Irony Exacerbates Crisis

Glen Reynolds has a saying: "I'll believe it's a crisis when the people who say it's a crisis start acting like it's a crisis."

Compare this to Rahm Emanual's line: "Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before."

In the Gulf there is a real crisis. Unfortunately the admin is not treating it as a real crisis, instead there is the delightful mix of incompetence, eco-utopianism, and simply holding back their response in order to get cap and trade.

But that last one is crazy. That's like saying the administration would neglect critical constitutionally mandated responsibilities in order to get legislation they want. And that would never happen.

But back to the Gulf.

Via Reynolds we have this from the Financial Post.

Why does neither the U.S. government nor U.S. energy companies have on hand the cleanup technology available in Europe? Ironically, the superior European technology runs afoul of U.S. environmental rules. The voracious Dutch vessels, for example, continuously suck up vast quantities of oily water, extract most of the oil and then spit overboard vast quantities of nearly oil-free water. Nearly oil-free isn't good enough for the U.S. regulators, who have a standard of 15 parts per million -- if water isn't at least 99.9985% pure, it may not be returned to the Gulf of Mexico.

When ships in U.S. waters take in oil-contaminated water, they are forced to store it. As U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, the official in charge of the clean-up operation, explained in a press briefing on June 11, "We have skimmed, to date, about 18 million gallons of oily water--the oil has to be decanted from that [and] our yield is usually somewhere around 10% or 15% on that." In other words, U.S. ships have mostly been removing water from the Gulf, requiring them to make up to 10 times as many trips to storage facilities where they off-load their oil-water mixture, an approach Koops calls "crazy."

Perfect is the enemy of the good. Emphasis added. Removing nearly all of the oil from the water but at a much higher rate would remove more oil than a perfect removal that is much slower.

But hey, what's a little math and logistics when you've got "the environment" to save. Which is different from actually saving the real world. Perfection and power over industry is more important than using the fastest way to remove the oil.

Again, the U.S. government priority is on U.S. jobs, with the Dutch asked to train American workers rather than to build the berns. According to Floris Van Hovell, a spokesman for the Dutch embassy in Washington, Dutch dredging ships could complete the berms in Louisiana twice as fast as the U.S. companies awarded the work. "Given the fact that there is so much oil on a daily basis coming in, you do not have that much time to protect the marshlands," he says, perplexed that the U.S. government could be so focussed on side issues with the entire Gulf Coast hanging in the balance.

Ahh... so US jobs are more important than wetlands. Being a Leftist is hard.

And again, the goobers in charge aren't treating this as a real crisis, but instead as a phony crisis that they can use to get more control over your life. Because hey, when all you've got is a statist hammer...

Nice to see that the man that run on being rational, internationalist, scientific, and competent. Is proving to be none of those things. Here's a hint next time a politician tells you everything you want to hear: He might be lying.

Told. You. So.

No comments: