The New York Times calls bull on Bobby:
Mr. Jindal, a Republican like all but one of the other gulf state governors, has been alone among them for his publicly critical stance toward the federal agencies in the response.
But experts said such antagonism could actually slow down that response.
"You can ask for the moon and say you didn’t get it, but I don’t think that’s going to add anything to the response capabilities," said Doug Lentsch, who was chief of the Coast Guard’s Pollution Response Branch in Washington, D. C., during the Exxon Valdez disaster and helped develop the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. "When that stuff happens, you actually take away the ability of the unified command to get their job done."
Thank you, Mr. Lentsch. What a great way of putting it. Bobby Jindal would have you believe he's been on a one-man crusade to save Louisiana from the Federal government's oil spill, but the reality is he's just trying to score political points in the GOP and get the oil industry out of the crosshairs. He's not cleaning oil, he's just playing games.
CBS has already documented the fact that Jindal has been holding up the deployment of National Guard troops to fight the spill, despite the fact that they were long ago authorized by the Obama administration. Now Jindal says the reason he didn't deploy the troops because he didn't need the resources. But if that's true, what the hell has he been whining about for the past several weeks?
Today's report in the NYT adds more detail to Jindal's failure. The basic story: Louisiana's spill response plan was inadequate, largely because the state failed to fully develop a plan. As a result, instead of following a methodical, well-prepared plan, Bobby Jindal winged it, pursuing grandiose (and politically sexy) schemes that most state and local officials as well as experts consider counterproductive, such as Jindal's proposed barrier islands.
- The state's oil spill coordinator's office has had its budget slashed by 50% over the last decade.
- Last year, Jindal cut funding from the state's oil spill research program.
- The state's oil spill contingency plan's include "pages of blank charts that are supposed to detail available supplies of equipment like oil-skimming vessels." A plan for a worst-case scenario was labeled "to be developed."
- Before Jindal decided to attack the Federal response, state officials signed off on all Coast Guard response plans.
- Jindal, who raged at the Federal government for not having enough boom, requested three times as much boom as the state's plan had called for -- and 50% more boom than existed in the entire nation.
The NYT report also details how Jindal developed and used his foolish "sand berm" idea as a political weapon. Nobody -- clearly not even Jindal himself -- actually took his idea seriously, but because it sounded nice at first glance, he proposed and almost immediately turned around and attacked the administration for not approving it, even though nobody thought it would actually work -- and some thought it would make things worse.
Update: For more on why Jindal's berm plan is just plain old dumb, check out this post by Joe Romm.