With due deference to the people at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurant and Market®, and to the creators of Forrest Gump, Bubba, and Lieutenant Dan©, attention must shift - urgently - to removing the millions of gallons of crude that is floating around (or suspended under the surface of) the Gulf of Mexico.
As a good friend in Sarasota Florida reminds me, there is the matter of hurricane season. Airborne "oil spray" is added to the toxic mix, according to this report. Now BP can put that on its growing list of liabilities.
While I am no expert on the esoteric world of crude oil and its properties - though I've stepped on my share of it on the world's beaches over the years - I do know about VLCCs. Very Large Crude Carriers (photo, DNV "Managing Risk"). Or how about ULCCs - the nec plus ultra in crude carriers.
These behemoths can carry some 2 million barrels of crude, and according to a recent Wall Street Journal trade item, there seems to be no particular urgency in whether these giants spend their time in the Gulf or in the North Sea. It's just a market matter.
Well now, how about the Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration, MARAD. Look at their site, and try to find some reference to the unfolding Gulf BP disaster. For an agency that just celebrated "National Maritime Day," about its historic achievements, how about a little contemporary activism?
Why not commandeer some of these VLCCs and ULCCs to go off Louisiana and pump up some of that sludge, even if it is a mixture of crude oil, golf balls, and seawater? At 2 million barrel capacity, you can suck it up and sort it out later at the refinery.
In the time-honored Washington phrase that usually gets bureaucrats moving - "DO SOMETHING!"