"We are still receiving reports of foreign-flagged vessels being turned away or their offers of assistance hanging in limbo. That should not be the case," Sen. George LeMieux (R) of Florida wrote to President Obama Friday. "There is a breakdown of communication and it is critically important the situation get fixed and we see an armada of skimmers at work."
Confusion has steadily built around the exact US skimmer strategy and the role of the 1920 Jones Act. President Bush waived the act temporarily to allow foreign ships to help with the hurricane Katrina relief effort.
Only a day after Fox News quoted Admiral Allen saying, "To date, nobody has come for a Jones Act waiver," Coast Guard Capt. Roger Laferriere, the second-in-command, told ABC World News that both Allen and Mr. Obama had, in fact, worked to waive the Jones Act to allow more foreign vessels to attack the spill.
"We have exhausted all our East Coast supply of skimming vessels," Captain Laferriere said. "We are now looking at Norway, France, Spain, and other European vessels."