Oil spill volunteers sit idle while problem grows

This has to be frustrating for the people who want to help on the ground. It’s tough to see how BP could have the skills necessary to run such a cleanup effort though it would be nice to hear the federal government doing more to tap into the volunteer workers. As annoying as it is to read about the idle workers, it’s also easy enough to see how the government effort is learning as they go. When government programs are gutted and the plan is based on a hope-and-a-wish as the GOP preferred, having an effective plan is not easy.

Still, more than 2,000 boats have signed up for oil-spill duty under BP’s Vessel of Opportunity program. The company pays boat captains and their crews a flat fee based on the size of the vessel, ranging from $1,200 to $3,000 a day, plus a $200 fee for each crew member who works an eight-hour day.

Rocky Ditcharo, a shrimp dock owner in Buras, La., said many fishermen hired by BP have told him that they often park their boats on the shore while they wait for word on where to go.

”They just wait because there’s no direction,” Ditcharo said. He said he believes BP has hired many boat captains ”to show numbers.”

”But they’re really not doing anything,” he added. He also said he suspects the company is hiring out-of-work fishermen to placate them with paychecks.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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