Hope and change: The A-Whale arrives in the gulf

posted at 9:01 pm on July 1, 2010 by Allahpundit

The exciting conclusion to Ed’s post from last weekend: It’s finally, finally here … and of course immediately there’s a snafu. As you’ll see, it’s designed to vacuum up fresh oil, which means it’ll have to be placed near the leak, which is a problem because it’s gi-normous and that area’s already congested. To which I say: Clear a path.

While the ship may be ready to work, it still has some bureaucratic hurdles to jump and tests to pass before the Coast Guard allows it to join the fight in the Gulf…

Nungesser says it’s time for “A Whale” to pull up anchor and get to work.

“Somebody, rode up the road this morning they said, just think of all that oil we’re picking up out of the marsh could be in that vessel. I said you’re right. Instead, we got people out there slopping in this rain with vacuum cleaners. They just don’t get it still.”…

According to the vessel’s owner, the ship’s skimming capacity is at least 250-times that of the fishing boat fleet now conducting skimming operations in the Gulf.

Like Ed noted, as of Sunday, the ships on the scene had skimmed a grand total of 600,000 or so barrels since the rig first exploded. The A-Whale can do 500,000 a day. To borrow a phrase, this is the moment when the rise of the oil in the ocean begins to slow and our gulf begins to heal. Exit question: Is it okay to feel ever so slightly optimistic about this? The bureaucracy will find some way to screw it up, right?

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All the crew will have to obtain a hazmat lisence. That means a birth certificate and a background check. After hazmat training, they may be cleared in 2 more weeks if they rush. I am serious in that these hurdles will not be avoided.
Do Americans want these idiots in charge of our healthcare?

seven on July 1, 2010 at 11:23 PM

The Hazardous Waste Operations Worker training I had to go through was two weeks. If their is asbestos in the ship Asbestos worker would be another week. If the Navy uses a Nuke, Rad Worker II would take another week. Not to mention Safety and Work-Site Orientation training.

All told, Nearly two months of education, training and tests.

Holger on July 1, 2010 at 11:44 PM

Is it okay to feel ever so slightly optimistic about this?

No.

The bureaucracy will find some way to screw it up, right?

You bet your sweet ass they will!

gryphon202 on July 2, 2010 at 12:41 AM

Stupidity like this administration has shown is the kind of stupid that fuels conspiracy theories. It is stupidity of a Noble Prize worthy type. Obama has created a stupidity class of it’s own. Quite an accomplishment in just a year and a half.

petunia on July 2, 2010 at 1:04 AM

An area congested with small ships that needs to be cleared before the A-Whale starts working? Sounds like a target of opportunity for a squadron of F-18’s, or maybe a single nuke strike.

GET OUT OF THE WAY!!!!

fred5678 on July 2, 2010 at 4:30 AM

make a hole, make it wide…

cmsinaz on July 2, 2010 at 5:50 AM

The bureaucracy will find some way to screw it up, right?
You bet your sweet ass they will!

gryphon202 on July 2, 2010 at 12:41 AM

couldn’t have said it better myself…

cmsinaz on July 2, 2010 at 5:57 AM

The difference between the A-Whale and the US government?

The A-Whale sucks.

The government blows.

ajacksonian on July 2, 2010 at 7:35 AM

It’s almost exactly like they want this operation to fail.

mrsmwp on July 1, 2010 at 9:19 PM

FIFY

fossten on July 2, 2010 at 7:45 AM

What day Barry?

What a buffoon this Obama is. The puppet needs re-stringing this weekend while America celebrates Independence day Obama voters celebrated DEpendence day.

chicagoray on July 2, 2010 at 7:58 AM

The tiniest bit. But since a “consensus” with gov’t agencies must be reached on every point of contention, I won’t be too surprised if EPA, OSHA, MMS, Fish & Wildlife, …, and the Coast Guard continue to squabble.
Randy

williars on July 2, 2010 at 8:19 AM

The chances of the EPA allowing this boat on the water to clean up is very low.
The only thing allowing the boat out there would be Obama over ruling the EPA and letting it be a publicity/drama stunt for him.

seven on July 2, 2010 at 8:19 AM

Message to Federal Regime: Lead, follow or get out of the way!!!

SeniorD on July 2, 2010 at 8:38 AM

I’d be optimistic about this if it hadn’t taken over 70 days to get this thing to the gulf.

scalleywag on July 2, 2010 at 8:51 AM

Is the A Whale solar powered? Sorry… new EPA regulations require all gulf cleanup vessels to be solar powered.

bitsy on July 2, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Dateline – Normandy, France (June 5, 1944)

As the combined allied naval forces wait off the coast, the Agence de l’environnment de France is demanding an impact study on the impending attack. Citing a need to protect the endangered Tricolor owl which nests on the cliffs, the agency wants to delay the military action to further determine whether or not there would be detrimental effects on the birds and other wildlife. “Ce n’est pas une bonne idee de spiller un grand amount de blood dans les beaches de Normandie. L’effet sur le surface water etre tres no-no.”

In other news, Berlin was enjoying a huge pre-victory party.

Sloan Morganstern on July 2, 2010 at 9:14 AM

Pardonnez le franglais.

Sloan Morganstern on July 2, 2010 at 9:15 AM

Ed and Allah, let us all know when it begins operations.

SC.Charlie on July 2, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Surely they have reached the stupid limit.

Cindy Munford on July 1, 2010 at 9:19 PM

There is no limit on stupid, that’s why they have Darwin Awards every year.

gstep58 on July 2, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Nungesser for President. He’s been a straight shooter on this from Day 1.

hawksruleva on July 2, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Here is the boat that was actually approved to skim; compare and contrast with the boat that is awaiting approval till hell freezes over.

Mini Skimmer

PattyJ on July 2, 2010 at 10:07 AM

It’s amazing how Uncle Sam is preventing inefficiency in favor of inaction. A Whale may be MOST effective closer to the spill site, but right now it’s INeffective, because it’s sitting in port.

Stop waiting on perfection. Removing some oil is better than removing no oil.

hawksruleva on July 2, 2010 at 10:19 AM

There is no limit on stupid, that’s why they have Darwin Awards every year.

gstep58 on July 2, 2010 at 9:37 AM

The Darwin Awards are given to people who have actually removed themselves from the gene pool permanently. That, I think, is the theoretical limit of stupidity. The last stupid thing you will ever do is what you get the award for. Perhaps a new category of award is in order, sort of like a Nobel Prize. The Darwin Award for politics. A stupid act that results in the permanent termination of your political career.

Oldnuke on July 2, 2010 at 10:23 AM

As the combined allied naval forces wait off the coast, the Agence de l’environnment de France is demanding an impact study on the impending attack. Citing a need to protect the endangered Tricolor owl which nests on the cliffs, the agency wants to delay the military action to further determine whether or not there would be detrimental effects on the birds and other wildlife. “Ce n’est pas une bonne idee de spiller un grand amount de blood dans les beaches de Normandie. L’effet sur le surface water etre tres no-no.”

In other news, Berlin was enjoying a huge pre-victory party.

Sloan Morganstern on July 2, 2010 at 9:14 AM

+1000

“Mais sacre bleu–les corbeaux et les vautours vont se regaler” (The crows and vultures will have a feast!)

Since the letter H is silent in French, it’s always a ‘oot to ‘ear the French pronounce “Omaha Beach”.

As for the A-Whale FINALLY getting into the Gulf, “Mieux vaut tard que jamais” = “Better late than never”.

Time to get unstuck from stupid. The best thing to do right now, to protect the shore from immediate danger, would be to send the A-Whale as close to shore as possible without running aground, and sweep the Gulf from east to west parallel to the shore, then turn it around and go a little further out, and keep going back and forth (like mowing the lawn) until it reaches the leaking well.

Hey Barry O! Remember Yes We Can? While you’re contemplating your next putt, check out those Nike sneakers and Just Do It!!!

Steve Z on July 2, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Here is the boat that was actually approved to skim; compare and contrast with the boat that is awaiting approval till hell freezes over.

Mini Skimmer

PattyJ on July 2, 2010 at 10:07 AM

From the article you linked, it’s AMAZING that the EPA would object to a skimmer which separates oil from water and rejects water less than 99.985% pure back into the Gulf.

If the water dumped back into the Gulf was, say, 99.9% pure, isn’t that a whole lot better than the leaving ALL the oil in the Gulf? And if the rejected water still contained, say, one barrel of oil, wouldn’t it be better to let it back into the Gulf than to tie up the ship carrying 999 barrels of water to a wastewater treatment plant?

Stuck on stupid…

Steve Z on July 2, 2010 at 11:01 AM

The Darwin Awards are given to people who have actually removed themselves from the gene pool permanently. That, I think, is the theoretical limit of stupidity. The last stupid thing you will ever do is what you get the award for. Perhaps a new category of award is in order, sort of like a Nobel Prize. The Darwin Award for politics. A stupid act that results in the permanent termination of your political career.

Oldnuke on July 2, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Unfortunately, this (death ending stupidity) only works on individuals. When it’s group (bureaucratic) stupidity, there is always someone to keep it going.

docdave on July 2, 2010 at 11:26 AM

I’d be optimistic about this if it hadn’t taken over 70 days to get this thing to the gulf.

scalleywag on July 2, 2010 at 8:51 AM

The A Whale was converted to a skimmer after the start of the disaster. There hasn’t been any massive delay. They cut vents into the bow. Not even the engineering team behind the conversion are sure how effective it will be as a skimmer since it is experimental on this scale.

lexhamfox on July 2, 2010 at 11:46 AM

docdave on July 2, 2010 at 11:26 AM

Ordinarily I’d agree but these days evidence points to the Democrat party doing just that as a group. The Republicans are teetering on the brink, I’d say that they’re really really sick and it might go either way. Time will tell.

Oldnuke on July 2, 2010 at 11:46 AM

I need some investors and a few people who can man a vessel.

I plan on converting a tug boat into a small oil skimmer. On the deck there will be a giant Barry head with a huge straw coming from the mouth.

Maybe I can use a sail boat and fashion some large sails into ears.

reaganaut on July 2, 2010 at 12:21 PM

I think that Obama really did sink his last shred of credibility with this problem.

No, this wasn’t about Bush.

Yes, It does say mountains about the institution of government.

I don’t think Bush or Obama is particularly evil.

I do think government is particularly inept.

AnninCA on July 2, 2010 at 12:22 PM

The A-Whale arrives. How many gallons of oil will it be allowed to remove from the Gulf before it gets sent back to port again, I wonder?

Aitch748 on July 2, 2010 at 12:37 PM

The most likely stopper here is the EPA has a very low limit to the amount of oil in a discharge from a vessel.

The ship could be in risk of reaching this very low number.

So say they can suck up 99% of the oil but not meet the EPA requirement that is tighter they will be rejected instead of doing the common sense thing of saying 99% is better than none and waive that limit due to the disaster in progress.

CommentGuy on July 2, 2010 at 12:52 PM

It’s almost like they want this operation to fail.

mrsmwp on July 1, 2010 at 9:19 PM

They do. The only explanation for the Obama Administration’s behavior is that they want to use this disaster, not solve it.

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on July 2, 2010 at 2:36 PM

The difference between the A-Whale and the US government?

The A-Whale actually DOES SOMETHING.

The difference between the A-Whale and the US government?
The A-Whale sucks.
The government blows.

ajacksonian on July 2, 2010 at 7:35 AM

wkgdyw on July 2, 2010 at 5:26 PM

Connect the dots… BP, Gaddafi, and Britain’s oil comeuppance;

Britain’s penchant for putting oil profits ahead of human life has a shameful precedent: Last year, the Scottish government released convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi allegedly in exchange for lucrative oil contracts in Libya. Leading British politicians have recently been running to defend BP from unwarranted American attack and “bashing Britain.” First we stole their tea.

Now we disparage their oil. The nerve…

It is now 10 months since the Lockerbie bomber’s release. It appears that miracles still happen, because the previously terminally ill patient is somehow alive and well and, according to Gaddafi’s son, “greatly improved” now that he is home in Libya. As for the reward to Britain, the Daily Mail reported that just five months after the bomber’s release “Libya announced plans to invest £5 billion in the UK.”

Lest we forget, Obama knew about BP’s sordid Lockerbie deal and did nothing… and the mainstream media crickets still chirp.

Terp Mole on July 2, 2010 at 6:08 PM

I feel like going to the backyard and shake off one of my trees; I won’t destroy my computer as I will scare my kids off too much.

Humans are the worst of the worst creatures on this planet. And the USCG has lost reputation, credibility-I dunno if I’d accept a rescue from them. Damn!

ProudPalinFan on July 2, 2010 at 6:20 PM

OT:
Just got done reading a NYT Sunday Magazine interview with Lindsay Graham on Huff Poop that will make your hair curl and your teeth rattle. Saving this for QOTD are you? Excerpts: the Tea Party will die out and McCain is BS-ing his way to a re-election, but it’s important he be so.

Marcus on July 1, 2010 at 9:37 PM

If the Twilight series have not succeeded in transforming me into a vampire, this will. No. Pass.

ProudPalinFan on July 2, 2010 at 6:30 PM

What’s pathetic and has dark humor? That we are talking about an OCEAN where a SHIP has to have ROOM to WORK. I mean geez, those of us that live or lived on the coast, where there’s DOCKS, where cruise ships and ferries have to dock side by side…

San Diego? San Juan? Florida? Alaska? NY? USVI? East and Western Caribbean?

So if the NAVY wants to send an a/c carrier, it won’t FIT? In the OCEAN? Humor me.

ProudPalinFan on July 2, 2010 at 6:41 PM

What can you say. This is typical CYA government inaction. You have to cross all the tees with about seven organizations before you can do anything. It makes you wonder how we won WW2 but I guess we cut some red tape then.

duff65 on July 2, 2010 at 6:57 PM

What can you say. This is typical CYA government inaction. You have to cross all the tees with about seven organizations before you can do anything. It makes you wonder how we won WW2 but I guess we cut some red tape then.

duff65 on July 2, 2010 at 6:57 PM

Most of these agencies were created in the 60’s and beyond. And no, we’d never have built the war-winning P-51 “Mustang” in less than 12 months with all this red-tape.

One of the first press release I remember from the Gulf had 19 Federal agencies sending teams. 19!??!?!

Sounds like 18 too many!

Who is John Galt on July 2, 2010 at 11:59 PM

Stop waiting on perfection. Removing some oil is better than removing no oil.

hawksruleva on July 2, 2010 at 10:19 AM

That all depends on your actual goal, doesn’t it?

NavyspyII on July 3, 2010 at 7:47 AM

The A Whale was converted to a skimmer after the start of the disaster. There hasn’t been any massive delay. They cut vents into the bow. Not even the engineering team behind the conversion are sure how effective it will be as a skimmer since it is experimental on this scale.

lexhamfox on July 2, 2010 at 11:46 AM

So you let it loose to prove the concept.

Answer me this: Even if it fails, how does it make the situation worse?

NavyspyII on July 3, 2010 at 7:49 AM

NavyspyII on July 3, 2010 at 7:49 AM

Bah, /strike should have been /quote.

NavyspyII on July 3, 2010 at 7:50 AM