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    Repiglican Roast

    A spirited discussion of public policy and current issues

    Location: The mouth of being

    I'm furious about my squandered nation.

    Friday, July 25, 2008

    Off Shore Drilling Anyone?


    The day after a ship collision shut down a 97 mile stretch of water, the river was a traffic jam of about 100 ships waiting to move along the vital link to Midwest grain elevators, coal terminals and other industrial facilities, Coast Guard officials said.

    "Think in terms of days for the opening and think in terms of weeks for the cleanup," said Captain Lincoln Stroh of the U.S. Coast Guard. "Think in terms of weeks for the cleanup."

    The river is a vital link carrying grain from production areas in the Midwest to export markets abroad. Between 55 and 65 percent of all U.S. corn, soybean and wheat exports leave from the Gulf of Mexico.

    Officials deployed an armada of ships to contain the spill, a floating scrim of 420,000 gallons (1,590,000 liters) of No. 6 fuel oil that threatened to contaminate the area's drinking water.

    The Coast Guard continued to look into a report that the tugboat crew was not properly licensed, a spokesman said.


    A spokesman for Minneapolis-based Cargill, the world's largest grain exporter, expressed hope the shutdown will be short.

    At the Port of South Louisiana, largest in the area, barges could still arrive from the U.S. heartland but ships headed out to the Gulf of Mexico and foreign ports were "essentially frozen," a person familiar with operations said.

    The spill was the largest in the area since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 collapsed oil tanks at an area refinery, and Louisiana officials said it was the largest in the river since a tanker ran aground southeast of New Orleans in 2000.

    A major coal shipping terminal south of New Orleans, United Bulk Terminal, which sends coal to other parts of the United States and overseas, declared force majeure on deliveries.




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