The Whale Goes to the Gulf


Credit: U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area, July 4th, 2010

The Gulf oil spill is a major crisis requiring crisis management. But the US regulatory system gets in the way of rapid action. An example has been the problem of putting the specialized asset the Whale to work in providing for oil skimming capability. Because the ship is of Korean origination, special exemptions have been necessary from the Jones act and from US EPA rules.

According to a story in the Virginia Pilot: “The Whale could handle 500,000 barrels of oily water a day, or slightly less than what all the skimmers now in the Gulf have gathered in more than 60 days on the job.”