Eight days ago, Governor Jindal of Louisiana ordered barges to begin vacuuming the oil from the Gulf. Yesterday, they were shut down by the U.S. Coast Guard:
The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges.
I am OK with them checking each boat to make sure it has the proper safety equipment. We don't want anyone hurt while they deal with the flammable oil. But, that takes ten minutes per boat. There was no reason to shut down the entire fleet and there was no reason to contact the people who built the barges. Either each boat had the proper equipment or did not.
The federal bureaucracy is out of control. It, too often, is an unaccountable menace.