The Corps of Engineers seemed embroiled in a recent Lefty confrontation over a pipeline across the Missouri River.
I’ve dealt with the Corps. Here is my story.
The San Francisco Bay is filled with debris, mostly wood from the discharge of the incoming Sacramento River and rotting docks in the Bay. I know about it because I have been a sailor all my life and was a partner in a 30 foot sloop for decades.
While working as manager of the Glide Church, which has a large black congregation, I came up with the idea of selling the Bay debris wood as firewood and hiring young black men to do the work.
I found a usable dock and a large undeveloped lot near the black neighborhood. I talked to the local head of the Corps of Engineers about my plan. Since the Corps was removing wood everyday, off-loading it in the North Bay and hauling it by truck 60 miles to a dump, we could all see the benefit of dropping it on the nearby dock rented by the Glide Church.
We did it for one week. During that week I got a close look at the wood as it was sorted into piles for drying and later chainsaw cutting. Nearly all of it was usable as good firewood. The project was off to a good start. The special Corps ship, which picked up the debris, picked it up in a giant chainlink net about 15 ft by 20 ft. It left the net on the dock around noon and picked it up the next day when it left another full net for us.
At the end of the week I was invoiced for the chainlink net for $120,000.00 Over $250,000 in today’s dollars. I used every bit of political pull the Church and I had (plenty) and got nowhere in getting the Corps to drop the charge or to at least rent it. I failed.
Screw the Corps and its hopeless bureaucracy.