Remember when the Dutch offered not only their skimmers, but crews experienced in cleaning up oil spills mere days after the Deepwater Horizon well blew out?
The Obama administration initially turned down the offer because the skimmers didn’t live up to EPA regs (the filtered water they’d spit back into the gulf would still contain a small fraction of oil — oh the horror).
Now the Obama administration has allowed the skimmers, but not experience Dutch crews to operate them. Why? As with every decision this administration makes, it has something to do with labor unions:
The Americans, overwhelmed by the catastrophic consequences of the BP spill, finally relented and took the Dutch up on their offer — but only partly. Because the U.S. didn’t want Dutch ships working the Gulf, the U.S. airlifted the Dutch equipment to the Gulf and then retrofitted it to U.S. vessels. And rather than have experienced Dutch crews immediately operate the oil-skimming equipment, to appease labour unions the U.S. postponed the clean-up operation to allow U.S. crews to be trained.
“From day one we’ve been putting big labor before people and the environment!”