While President Obama has finally accepted international assistance in the Deep Horizon spill, there is a disturbing account of how Administration officials turned down generous (and repeated) offers from the Dutch to send a fleet of ships designed specifically to clean water after spills. They allegedly offered the vessels free of charge but the Administration declined the assistance for weeks.
Three days after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico began on April 20, the Netherlands told the Administration that it has vessels that can clean 400 cubic metres per hour, according to Weird Koops, the chairman of Spill Response Group Holland (presumably, he was not turned down because his first name is weird).
It has been charged that, because the boats return only 99.9985% pure water to the ocean, it was not sufficiently clean for the EPA. Instead, the U.S. has been collecting oil tainted water for cleaning as opposed to the Dutch that can the water and return it on site.
According to this report, when the Administration finally relented, they still barred the Dutch ships and took the equipment for retrofitting on U.S. ships.
Others have called this allegation bunk . The LA Times has quoted the Administration as denying any rejection, but acknowledging delays in accepting offers from various countries. Notably, the Administration denies that the delays were due to federal law and contests that the offer was “free.”
Source: Financial Post.