Oil Disaster: All Hands Not On Deck -- Why?

Doug Ross notes that this oil spill was not treated as earlier ones were:

On April 29th, Ron Gouget, who once managed Gulf spill response teams, publicly pilloried the administration's response to the tragic oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. Gouget is an expert when it comes to these matters: he helped created the 1994 plan that allowed expedited burning of oil as soon as a major spill had occurred -- without having to wait for permission or approvals.

Federal officials should have started burning oil off the surface of the Gulf last week, almost as soon as the spill happened, said the former oil spill response coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Ron Gouget, who also managed Louisiana's oil response team for a time, said federal officials missed a narrow window of opportunity to gain control of the spill by burning last week, before the spill spread hundreds of miles across the Gulf, and before winds began blowing toward shore.

He also said the heavy use of dispersants instead of burning the oil has likely knocked so much oil into the water columnthat portions of the Gulf may be on the threshold of becoming toxic to marine life. Add in the oil spreading into the water as it rises from the seafloor, and Gouget said he expected officials would have to begin limiting the use of the dispersants.

Doug Ross notes that this oil spill was not treated as earlier ones were:

On April 29th, Ron Gouget, who once managed Gulf spill response teams, publicly pilloried the administration's response to the tragic oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. Gouget is an expert when it comes to these matters: he helped created the 1994 plan that allowed expedited burning of oil as soon as a major spill had occurred -- without having to wait for permission or approvals.

Federal officials should have started burning oil off the surface of the Gulf last week, almost as soon as the spill happened, said the former oil spill response coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Ron Gouget, who also managed Louisiana's oil response team for a time, said federal officials missed a narrow window of opportunity to gain control of the spill by burning last week, before the spill spread hundreds of miles across the Gulf, and before winds began blowing toward shore.

He also said the heavy use of dispersants instead of burning the oil has likely knocked so much oil into the water columnthat portions of the Gulf may be on the threshold of becoming toxic to marine life. Add in the oil spreading into the water as it rises from the seafloor, and Gouget said he expected officials would have to begin limiting the use of the dispersants.

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