Volunteers ready but left out of spill cleanupThere is more on volunteers here.
By Tom Breen
NEW ORLEANS – BP and the Obama administration face mounting complaints that they are ignoring foreign offers of equipment and making little use of the fishing boats and volunteers available to help clean up what may now be the biggest spill ever in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Coast Guard said there have been 107 offers of help from 44 nations, ranging from technical advice to skimmer boats and booms. But many of those offers are weeks old, and only a small number have been accepted, with the vast majority still under review, according to a list kept by the State Department.
And in recent days and weeks, for reasons BP has never explained, many fishing boats hired for the cleanup have done a lot of waiting around.
But that's not the only reason for my headline. There is also this showing they have gone to war against Texas. Again it is from Yahoo news, AP.
EPA overturns 16-year-old Texas permit programIt doesn't matter what laws we change it is hard to fight a takeover of our way of life.
By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI,
HOUSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday officially overturned a 16-year-old Texas air permitting program it says violates the Clean Air Act, leaving some of the country's largest refineries in a state of limbo.
The move comes after years of backdoor bickering, negotiations and public arguments between the EPA and Texas. The argument recently escalated from a battle over environmental issues into a heated political dispute over states' rights.
Gov. Rick Perry has been using it to drive home his contention that President Barack Obama's administration is overreaching, saying in a statement Wednesday that "Texas will continue to fight this federal takeover of a successful state program."
The EPA's decision, announced in a statement, will force some 125 refineries and petrochemical plants to invest millions of dollars to get new permits. Many of the plants may also have to invest in updates to comply with federal regulations.
The decision did not come as a surprise to Texas or the industries. EPA regional director Al Armendariz has said for months he would disapprove the permits if Texas did not comply with the Clean Air Act.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's chairman Bryan Shaw insisted Wednesday the state's permitting program complies with the Clean Air Act and has improved air quality in Texas. However, in an effort to satisfy the EPA's concerns, Shaw said the commission recently changed the rules but apparently the EPA "did not take them into consideration."
Texas can challenge the ruling in court, but a commission spokesman said it hasn't decided whether to go that route.