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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

LeMieux continues 'skimmer' rant



Sen. George LeMieux continues to complain about the lack of oil skimmers in the gulf, asserting on the Senate floor a few moments ago that there are scores of foreign-owned ships that have offered assistance, only to be ignored.

"I could not be more frustrated with the lack of sense of urgency from this administration," LeMieux said, citing one Dutch ship that has left the area because the government didn't "return the phone call."

PolitiFact Florida recently looked at some of LeMieux's claims, rating them barely true, though acknowledging the United States has either struggled to act on offers or delayed some. Some of the help has been rejected for failing to meet U.S. standards. For example, the private consortium that serves as Norway's spill-response team uses a chemical dispersant that the Environmental Protection Agency has not approved.

LeMieux says the list has grown. Here's the document he got from the State Department. LeMieux said he'll raise the issue with President Barack Obama tomorrow. LeMieux is one of the lawmakers asked to attend a 9:30 a.m. meeting on the stalled energy legislation. UPDATE: Word is meeting has been delayed.


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:43am]


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