In an article from the Voice of America, the Dutch goverment was, is, and will be ready to assist the United States in the Gulf Oil Crisis, but the American Commander-in-Chief is balking at almost every step.
Below is some of the article from the VOA;
In Louisiana and other states on the Gulf of Mexico there is frustration over what many residents see as a slow response by the U.S. government to protecting coastal areas. Some critics of the Obama administration cite offers by the Netherlands in April to supply sophisticated skimmers and dredging devices, and the administration’s failure to accept the offer.
A Houston-based company is now cleaning oil off surface water in the Gulf of Mexico using sweeping arms that attach to a boat and help gather large amounts of oil. These sophisticated devices were provided by a Dutch company with years of experience in such operations, but instead of using the Dutch ships and crews immediately, when The Netherlands offered help in April, the operation was delayed until U.S. crews could be trained.
The Obama administration declined the Dutch offer partly because of the Jones Act, which restricts foreign ships from certain activities in U.S. waters. During the Hurricane Katrina crisis five years ago, the Bush administration waived the Jones Act in order to facilitate some foreign assistance, but such a waiver was not given in this case.
The Dutch also offered assistance with building sand berms (barriers) along the coast of Louisiana to protect sensitive marshlands, but that offer was also rejected, even though Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal had been requesting such protective barriers.
Louisiana and The Netherlands have developed strong ties since Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans five years ago. The European nation has developed special expertise in protecting its lower than sea-level land for centuries with a system of dikes. The country, home to the Royal Dutch Shell oil company, also has experience with mitigating oil spills in the North Sea and elsewhere.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs last week rejected the idea that the Jones Act has caused any problem in regard to the Gulf cleanup, but he said the president would provide a waiver if one is needed.
“We are using equipment and vessels from countries like Norway, Canada, The Netherlands,” said Robert Gibbs. “There has not been any problem with this. If there is the need for any type of waiver that would obviously be granted, but we have not had that problem.”
But critics say delays in accepting foreign assistance may have caused unnecessary damage to some coastal areas.
Floris Van Hovell says Dutch dredging ships could complete the sand berms in Louisiana twice as fast as the local companies contracted for the work, if allowed to do so.