Get ready to be infuriated, because the Coast Guard and the Corps of Engineers have now put out their response to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan to use dredges to build barrier islands as a defense against the Gulf oil spill invading the state’s marshlands.
It’s pathetic. Just pathetic.
When President Obama said at his press conference today that Jindal had received partial approval for the plan to dredge sand and build barrier islands, what he didn’t say is that his administration has approved one project.
You read that correctly. One.
The project is a sand berm at Scofield Island, which is in Jefferson Parish east of Grand Isle and west of the Mississippi River. The Louisiana National Guard has already been working on that area, using sandbags dropped from Black Hawk helicopters. They’d like to dredge sand instead, since that’s a much more efficient way to do it, and Adm. Thad Allen of the Coast Guard, who is the embattled Incident Commander in charge of this spill, has given the go-ahead for that to happen and have BP pick up the tab.
But the Scofield Island thing is it. If Louisiana wants, the state can do another five projects it has put on the table – two east of the Mississippi and three others to the west – on its own dime.
“There are a lot of doubts whether this is a valid oil spill response technique, given the length of construction and so forth,” said Allen in making the announcement Thursday at Port Fourchon. “But we’re not averse to attempting this as a prototype.”
Jindal’s quote is a little more diplomatic than you might think based on all this, though it’s clear he’s red-hot about it.
“We’re glad they didn’t turn us down, but had we been given approval earlier, we could have built nearly 10 miles of barriers 6 feet high already,” Jindal said. “We want them to approve the entire plan because our entire coastline is important.”
Jindal said the state would not begin construction on the other five island sections approved by the corps without a guarantee of money from BP or the federal Oil Spill Response Trust Fund.
“This is BP’s mess and they should pay to clean it up,” Jindal said. “We’re calling on them to get Scofield built as quickly as possible to show the world that this works, and then make BP pay for the rest of the sections.”
A map of the coastline, complete with places where the oil has come ashore, can be found here. From that map, you can see that what’s being asked for is not a 200-mile sand berm – there are lots of barrier islands already in place and what this is about is closing passes between those islands in most cases. The entire proposal would cost $350 million and take six to nine months, but it’s not a continuous line. It’s a bunch of small projects which combine into one big proposal.
And it’s been delayed for most of a month by federal bureaucrats who now say they’ll only pay for one small part of the project. And the President just took credit for this.
Reminds us of this:
Get more Gulf oil spill updates at TheHayride.com.