What Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana has been doing about the oil spill.
- 2010/07/29 16:07:15
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I am disheartened to hear so many bad things being said about Bobby Jindal. What this amounts to is a smear campaign by the Obama administration against Bobby Jindal. Why? Ask yourself... why? Because Bobby Jindal is a Republican? Because Bobby is not white and has a US birth certificate? Because Bobby has transcripts from schools he attended? Because Bobby is a Christian? Because Bobby Jindal is a Rhodes scholar and truly has the smarts that the media has attributed to Obama with no sources to back up their claim?
The press does not report accurately what is happening. For those of you who don't live in Louisiana, here's just a little of what Bobby Jindal has been doing. The list is mine, but I have put some excerpts from Bobby Jindal's newsletter in here as well.
Did Bobby Jindal reinvent himself? Well, actually, Jindal has been very busy down here in Louisiana taking care of business. Taking care of this state. He turned down an opportunity to be McCain's vice presidential running mate saying that he already had the job he wanted. Is that why Obama fears Jindal so? Because Obama is worried Jindal could be a possible future political opponent? I suspect fear and jealousy from Obama are behind the campaign to smear Bobby Jindal.
This is a long blog. Sorry, but Jindal has been very busy.Here’s a little of what Jindal has been doing after the oil rig blowout:
Jindal contacted BP and was told they had a plan to deal
with this, not to worry. Jindal contacted the Feds and they told him not to
worry, they had a plan to deal with this. After waiting almost a week, Jindal
realized… neither BP nor the Federal government had a plan.
Jindal got representatives from each Coastal parish together
and they hammered out their own detailed plan to deal with the oil coming in.
Jindal had national guard and others stationed in all coastal parishes and a
point look out to say when the oil was coming in. Each point look out had a
person to call and reinforcements would rush in and do what they could to keep
the oil off our delicate ecosystems.
Jindal contacted someone in Texas to get some early warning
devices from them so we would know before the oil actually got to us.
Jindal worked with BP and got them to pay for HazMat
training for many Louisiana residents. Jindal also got BP to pay for training
for Louisiana volunteers to learn how to save birds and other wildlife that
were covered in oil. Jindal coordinated some training with other entities and
got BP to pay for it.
Jindal got in touch with the folks who know how to rescue
wildlife that have been covered in oil and got them down here to train
Louisiana folks and others who showed up to help.
Jindal coordinated with the Coast Guard and got training for
Louisiana fishermen who were put out of work by the spill. These fishermen
learned from the Coast Guard and BP how to protect themselves while they put
out protective beam to fight the onslaught of the oil.
Jindal hassled with the Federal government to get more beam
delivered to us to keep the oil off our coastlines. This was a discouraging
job since the Feds sometimes picked up beam from us and took it elsewhere.
Jindal tried to negotiate with and work with the Federal
government to protect the delicate ecosystems of our salt water and freshwater
marshes. This was not easy since the Federal government wanted us to stop all
efforts and have some meetings with them.
The moratorium on deep water drilling will cost us many millions of dollars in Federal taxes. Where do you think they will make up the difference?
Excerpts from Governor Jindal:For weeks Jindal requested 20 miles of boom to create
multiple layers of defense for the Lake along with shallow water skimmers. The
recent oil impact on Lake Pontchartrain now brings
the total amount of shoreline impacted by oil in Louisiana
to over 337 miles.
Even with this mounting crisis and rising
miles of shoreline impacted by oil, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rejected a
coastal protection measure for Barataria Bay. This
rejection came after a month of meetings, phone calls and compromises to try
and win federal approval. Locals joined in to meet with the President on this
rock plan over a month ago. We were told that we would get a response in a
matter of days. Instead, several weeks later, we got a flat rejection.
Most frustrating of all is that when the federal government
denies one of Jindal’s plans they also fail to offer an
We need the federal government to recognize that when they
reject our defense measures they fundamentally choose for oil to come in our
wetlands. That will never be the choice we make. We cannot allow bureaucratic
roadblocks to prevent good plans from being implemented.
This year we were on track to have the lowest rate of land
loss in 80 years. Now, that progress is threatened by oil impacting our coast
and wetlands. We had a very clear message for Secretary Mabus. The time for
coastal restoration studies is over. Our fragile coastline cannot afford years
of more studies. We need quick action to restore our coast.
A June update from Governor Jindal:
Earlier this week, I was about three miles off the coast of Grand
Isle and saw firsthand a reportedly 12-mile oil slick aiming
towards our fragile wetlands. We certainly saw lots of oil, but as Fox News
reported we didn't see one boat or skimmer on the water trying to capture or
contain the massive slick that has now started to hit our shores.
Meanwhile, that same day we stood with coastal leaders who have been waiting
for weeks for federal officials to approve the use of rocks to help narrow
passes and block oil from coming into our wetlands around Grand Isle. We called
on the feds to immediately approve the project so work can begin to stop more
heavy oil from hitting Louisiana's coast.
No skimmers and approval for a containment project stuck in
red tape are just the latest examples of a lack of urgency from the federal
government. This is a battle to defend our Louisiana
way of life and we need the federal government to get in this war to win it. Vice
President Biden was in town yesterday, and as I told FOX 8
in New Orleans, I shared three main concerns with him. First, the feds need to
cut through the red tape so projects and resources can be quickly approved to
fight the oil off our coast before it enters our fragile wetlands. Second, we
need more boom and more skimmers to prevent the oil from entering our delicate
wetlands. Third, the consequences of the drilling moratorium are real and
First, it was our dredging project which
took the federal government weeks to approve. Then, after we finally started
building the sand-berms, they shut it down and left our coast vulnerable to
oil. As I mentioned earlier, local officials are awaiting a response from the
feds to place rocks in western Barataria Bay passes. Our
coastal leaders have a plan to narrow the passes by up to 70 percent with
rocks, rigid pipe boom or other measures, and then place barges with vacuum
trucks and sorbent operations in the remaining gaps. It's been weeks now since
local officials requested approval and the Grand Isle Mayor and I spoke to the
President about this project three weeks ago. The President told us we would
get a call within hours. I told the Vice President about this project
yesterday, but it's ridiculous that we're still fighting red tape when oil
continues to rush towards our coast. As the Thibodaux
Daily Comet reported, the feds seem to think rocks in the
water would cause more damage than the oil that is coming our way. That
defies logic and common sense.
I also spoke to the Vice President this week about the need
to deploy resources quickly, including skimmers and boom. There are apparently
over 170 skimmers on the way and that's great, but we want to know where they
have been for the past 72 days? We've been asking for these and other resources
for weeks. We also must relax regulatory rules so more skimmers can be brought
in from around the country and the world.
We also talked to the Vice President about the impact the
drilling moratorium is having on our people. We all want drilling to be done
safely, but we're very concerned about an arbitrary 6-month suspension and also
the fact that the commission set up the President to study the moratorium won't
even hold their first meeting until next month. We also continue to get mixed
signals about claims process for people impacted by the moratorium. I said yesterday
that the process is still as clear as mud because the President says folks
should file claims with BP and BP says they are not handling claims. The
reality though is that our people don't want an unemployment check or a claims
check, they want to go back to work.
June 30 from Governor Jindal:
Earlier this week, we filed a brief in support of a lawsuit
challenging President Obama's drilling moratorium – which puts tens of
thousands of jobs at risk – and yesterday we received the welcome news of
an immediate injunction lifting the ban. As the Baton
Rouge Advocate reported,
we absolutely do not want another spill or one more drop of oil on our coast,
but thousands of Louisianians shouldn't lose their jobs because the federal
government can't do their job of ensuring drilling is done
The court said the President's decision to suspend drilling
for six months or longer was "arbitrary and capricious" and we
absolutely agree. That's why I immediately called on the Obama Administration
to not appeal the court's ruling. As WWL
radio reported, we asked the Obama Administration to listen to their scientific
experts who advised the U.S. Department of Interior
and say a moratorium was not necessary to improve safety in the Gulf.
Those experts recognize that there is an entire federal agency
dedicated to monitoring safe drilling and it shouldn't take six months or
longer to ensure safety measures are in place and regulations are
The moratorium has created uncertainty in our economy and
based on reports about appeals from the Obama Administration, this process
isn't over yet. The Washington
Post reported that the "oil companies said they
would not restart costly, long-term deep-water drilling projects while the
legal wrangling" continues, and that's what we've been saying all
along. You can't just turn a switch on and off with these oil
rigs and the longer their future remains in question the more
likely they are to move their operations to another part of the world which
means they aren't coming back and neither are the jobs that support them.
Perhaps most frustrating of all is the clear lack of urgency
government has demonstrated to bringing the moratorium to an
end. Their own commission charged with studying deepwater drilling will
not even hold their first meeting until next month and they don't expect to
finish their report until next year! As the McClatchy
Newspapers reported, we estimate the state could lose
20,000 existing and potential new jobs if the panel takes longer than six
months and with these jobs in jeopardy we cannot wait for more studies.
If you have not already done so, please visit www.GEST.LA.gov to sign
the Gulf Economic Survival Team's petition against the President's six-month
Finally, today I am landing on the sand-berms we started to
build at the Chandeleur Islands to block the oil from
hitting our coast. However, the federal government has shut down our dredging
operations there while we wait to move to another sand site. We've said we
absolutely want to continue dredging from the current spot while we work to
make a seamless transition to the next site and have committed to refilling the
original site within weeks. Instead of meeting this request, the federal
government is putting red tape over the protection of our coast and stopping
dredging. We are calling on the federal government today to immediately restart
dredging because we absolutely cannot afford another day.
Other excerpts from Governor Jindal when the oil first began coming in on us:
I've said from the very beginning that this is a marathon
and that Louisiana
will win the war against the oil that threatens our Louisiana Way of
Life. Just as it will take the spirit and ingenuity of our people to
overcome the environmental catastrophe so too will it take our determination to
defeat the economic calamity posed by the federal government's misguided
drilling moratorium. Together we will see this through and win this war to
protect our way of life.
Because we cannot simply wait for action though, we continue
to be aggressive in our efforts to protect the coast. We worked with coastal
leaders to identify additional resources within parishes, state agencies and
levee districts that will help us keep oil out of the marshes. These resources
will be used to complement efforts by the National Guard to close gaps in
coastal areas. As the Wall Street Journal reported,
we have "taken matters into our own hands" to better protect our
We have also repeatedly called for the Army Corps of
Engineers to quickly approve our sand-booming/dredging plan so we can stop the
oil from hitting our coast. We've even highlighted pictures of sand-booming in
the Fourchon area completed by the National Guard that is actively holding oil
back from traveling into the marsh. It's a no-brainer. We know this strategy
clearly works and it's critical that the Corps approve a plan right away to
mitigate the impact of the spill. We're not letting bureaucracy get in
the way of protecting our coast though and that's why we have already
redirected a dredge conducting restoration work in the Grand Isle area to
immediately begin constructing a sand boom that will help keep more oil out of
This week the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a
commercial fisheries failure at the request of our administration. According to
the Houma Courier, this
declaration "will free up millions" of dollars to help fishermen who
are impacted by the spill. These funds are critical to help restore our
fisheries and ensure that fishermen and their families get back on their feet
as quickly as possible.
We will continue to be aggressive in our efforts to protect
the coast and our people. This is a fight to protect our way of life and we
will not rest until our coast is 100 percent restored.
Right after the spill…. These are comments from
Louisiana's coasts are the backbone of our economy. Our
wetlands are home to wildlife and plentiful natural
resources and they are the reason why Louisiana is Sportsman's
Paradise. As I told the New
Orleans Times-Picayune, this oil spill
in the Gulf fundamentally threatens our way of life. That's why we're doing
everything we can to mitigate the impacts of this disaster and protect our
coasts, our people, our communities and our future.
We have been working side-by-side with coastal parish
leaders for many days to incorporate their insight and know-how into coastal
parish plans to address this crisis. We worked with local leaders like
Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, St. Tammany Parish President
Kevin Davis and St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro
to develop plans to protect our wetlands and ultimately our Louisiana
way of life. Working with local leaders on the ground, we have submitted detailed
coastal protection plans for every coastal parish in Louisiana, from east of
River to the Texas border. We are urging the Coast Guard to
quickly approve all the detailed coastal parish plans we created and for BP to
reported, I was recently in Venice with President Nungesser to launch a
"jack up" barge, which is part of the parish's plan to protect their
fragile marsh and shoreline. There is no doubt that our local leaders know the
coastal region like the back of their hands and they are leading the fight to
protect our coast. I am continuing to visit parish leaders regularly and talk
to the fishermen who are on the ground working to protect our wetlands everyday
from the threat of oil.
The very fishermen whose livelihoods are threatened by this
spill are stepping up to protect the state – and we're also working
aggressively to make sure they have the help they need to recover from the
effects of this oil spill. As WWL Radio reported,
we have asked BP to fund a plan that would do three things: provide immediate
help to fishermen unable to work because of the spill, integrate fishermen into
the Vessel of Opportunity program to provide them with alternative work
opportunities, and restore fisheries affected by the spill so fishermen can get
back to work as quickly as possible. In order to help our people get through
this crisis, we also requested that the U.S. Small Business
Administration issue an Economic Injury Disaster Declaration for
six parishes impacted by the spill. The SBA issued the declaration
today and it makes loans available to small business affected by the oil.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune
called it a "warranted request" and said this declaration "would
help thousands of Louisianians weather this economic hit."
As part of our coordinated response, we're also asking
members of the public to assist us in identifying oiled or injured wildlife and
to report oil on land. Hotlines have been set up and can be used to make
field reports or inquire about volunteer opportunities
to serve in the fight to protect our coast.
The coming days and weeks will be extremely critical for the
protection of our coasts and we're taking every step we can to protect our
wildlife, environment, and our people. We are in a fight to protect Louisiana's
way of life, and we will not let up.
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