Sarah Palin was roundly mocked for complaining recently that the Dutch and Norwegians, "known for dikes, for cleaning up water, and dealing with spills" had offered to help with the oil spill but were being ignored. Dikes aren't much help with offshore drilling leaks, as TPM's Josh Marshall pointed out, and, in any event, the administration has accepted foreign help.
However, the Washington Post reports significant delays in accepting this help. The administration expected BP to deal with the matter on its own and some of the foreign technology did not meet EPA regulations. According to John Ryden at The Washington Examiner, Dutch oil skimmers, which would return slightly contaminated water back into the Gulf, were refused "because EPA regulations do not allow water with oil to be pumped back into the ocean." These delays are infuriating some bloggers, particularly conservatives:
- 'Radical Enviro-nitwittery Plus Bureaucratic Incompetence,' Michelle Malkin labels the delays. "Fact: It took over 50 days to get an EPA waiver to bring Dutch skimmers into action." As far as she's concerned this is one more reason to mistrust EPA energy policy.
- 'Not Just Bad Policy, It Is Criminal,' writes Jim Hill at Big Government. He also mentions a "Maine company's oil boom" that hasn't been used due to similar delays.
- Really Is Adding Up to a Bad Response Rick Moran at The Moderate Voice reviews the mishandlings, as he sees them:
Nobody expects the response to be perfect. But when the governor of Louisiana requested the construction of these barrier islands weeks ago, and when a million feet of boom lie unused in a warehouse in Maine (even after the boom was brought up to spec by changing the connectors), and when assistance was offered by the Dutch and the British within hours of the spill, only being accepted recently, one can note that the mistakes and confusion fall far short of an enterprise that is perfect, and begins to resemble incompetence.