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U.S. icebreakers can't handle Alaska oil spills: official

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 9:27am
Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard does not have enough working icebreakers to respond to a major oil spill in Alaskan waters, the top official who oversaw the containment of the BP oil spill warned Congress on Friday.

"The current condition of the Coast Guard icebreaker fleet should be of great concern to the senior leaders of this nation," General Thad Allen testified at a House Transportation subcommittee hearing on last summer's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Allen said two of the three ice breakers do not work and decisions on future funding for the fleet continued to be delayed. "Nobody is talking about the icebreaker capability problem," he said.

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