DALLAS, June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Fred McCallister, an investment banker with Allegiance Capital Corporation, will testify tomorrow before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in a hearing titled "The Deepwater Horizon Tragedy: Holding Industry Accountable". For weeks, McCallister has labored to pierce the red tape involved in bringing oil skimmers and other equipment from Europe to the Gulf of Mexico to assist in cleanup efforts.
"We submitted proposals for oil skimming vessels to BP on Monday, June 14th – 25 million gallons of oil ago – and were promised they would be reviewed on an expedited basis. To date, we have received no meaningful response," said McCallister.
On June 22, McCallister gained assistance from Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) in requesting a waiver from the Jones Act, which prevents foreign-flagged vessels from cleaning the BP oil spill and protecting the U.S. coastline from the onslaught of oil. To date, neither Senator Cornyn's office nor Allegiance Capital has received a response regarding the waiver. McCallister's first request for a waiver was sent to Admiral Thad Allen on June 16.
McCallister believes there may be an underlying issue affecting BP's resistance to bringing all available oil skimming equipment to the Gulf.
"We believe BP has chosen to 'disperse and sink' the oil rather than to 'surface and collect' the oil," said McCallister. "Sinking and emulsifying the oil keeps the problem out of site and better serves BP's financial interest than does removing the oil from the water. This way BP can amortize the cost of the cleanup over the next 15 years. Unfortunately this strategy exacerbates the significant cost to the Gulf of Mexico and the people and animals who live there."
McCallister's proposals include equipment that is Coast Guard compliant and designed to:
- Install and maintain booms for trapping oil;
- Skim oil off the surface of the water before it reaches the beaches or marshes; and
- House and support conservation volunteers in the rescue, cleaning and housing of animals.
Additionally, the proposals include opportunities for 1,200 workers, the vast majority of whom can come from the state utilizing the equipment.
"These vessels are just sitting idle," McCallister said. "It's hard to believe."
SOURCE Allegiance Capital Corporation