Fred D. McCallister, Vice President, Allegiance Capital Corporation
If the unified area commander (Watson) decides that its a piece of equipment he needs, either BP would contract for it or he can do that himself, LaBrec said. If its something he decides is absolutely needed, he can get it in here without BP approval.
The equipment that has been offered the foreign equipment that has been offered that is useful for the response has either been accepted or is in the group of offers that is currently in the process of being accepted. That has been occurring since early in the response and will continue to occur.
Dealing with BP
McCallister said none of his dealings have been with the Coast Guard. He submitted requests for Jones Act waivers to Unified Command, but said questions about the skimming vessels have come from BP.
BP spokesman Beaudo said McCallister was notified his offer of skimming vessels has been declined because the vessels will not pick up heavy oil near shore. Beaudo said he did not know when McCallister was informed. McCallister said he received communications from BP on Thursday that indicated his proposal was still under review. In fact, he sent supplemental material Thursday, which was accepted, to show the skimming vessels will pick up heavy oil like that bombarding Mississippis coastline. The 60-foot vessels, he said, can skim high-density crude up to 20 miles offshore. Equipment on board separates the oil from water.
Desperate for skimmers
All the Gulf states dealing with oil have pleaded for more skimming vessels. The Deepwater Horizon Web site indicates 550 skimmers were at work before bad weather suspended operations.
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbours office has ordered private shipyards to build skimming vessels because so few have been working in state waters. George Malvaney, who heads the Mississippi Coast cleanup effort for BP subcontractor U.S. Environmental Services, said offers of skimming vessels and other equipment take time to review. He believes Mississippi will have a substantial skimming effort by late next week.
Just because its a skimmer doesnt mean its effective, Malvaney said. Theres a lot of people out there saying, Weve got skimmers. Some are effective, some are not. Thats what were trying to wade through right now.
More than meets the eye?
As the catastrophe reaches Day 73, McCallister, who grew up in Mississippi and has family on the Coast, believes there is just more to it.
Looking at it from a businessmans perspective, he said, if I am BP, assuming I dont have a conscience that would steer me otherwise, the best thing I can do for my shareholders, my pensioners, and everybody else, is to try to spread the cost of this remediation out as long as I can.
I am concerned it is seen by BP as being the most pragmatic financial approach. But theyre playing Russian roulette with the Gulf, the marine life in the Gulf and the people in the Gulf region.