Thursday, July 15, 2010
Super Skimmer A Whale Awaits Government Approval
Today is the day the Super Skimmer A Whale, owned and operated by the TMT Corporation of Taiwan, concludes the test period set for it by the U.S.C.G. According to company spokesman, Danny Wang, in Taipei, the ship has performed satisfactorily but it has been difficult to judge its effectiveness because the oil-water mix is very "dirty" as a result if it being seaborne for so long.
Initial tests of the ship were hampered by 4' to 5' seas, which in and of themselves would pose no more problem for a ship this size than a gnat would to a bull elephant. But, in this case, the skimming and separation of the oil-water is the complicating factor.
What's so incredibly frustrating with this situation is the following:
Here we have a corporate giant, a foreign corporate giant, spending huge amounts of money on a very speculative oil spill recovery venture. It's a risk to his company and a risk to his personal wealth. Forget his motivations, whether there's any altruism involved or whether he's just in it for the money -- it doesn't matter -- because it's the environment that can eventually reap the rewards.
It doesn't even matter that it works as well as intended. The important thing is that someone has taken a step in the right direction. They've attempted to advance and improve the technology and the means of major oil spill remediation.
One would think our government would welcome this kind of speculative and risky corporate venture. Instead, our government has done everything in its power to keep this thing on the bench. I ask you? Where is the number one major oil spill catastrophe in the world right now? Where is the absolute best testing area for a vessel of this size? If it's not testing or working in the Gulf, where should it go to test and improve its oil recovery capability? Should it create its own spill and try to recover that?
The actions of the Obama Administration and the U.S. Government regarding (1) this ship's future, (2) the future of oil spill recovery technology, (3) the application and mobilization of every possible revovery and clean-up asset (including foreign assets), and (4) the creation of jobs and new manufacturing in the oil spill recovery field, are absolutely reprehensible.