The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Billy Nungesser, perhaps the biggest critic of the response to BP's spill, owns half of a marina now being refurbished by BP to use as a staging ground for the cleanup operation:
Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, who has become a national symbol of frustration by decrying BP's and the federal government's efforts to clean up the oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico, has an interest in a Port Sulphur marina that is being refurbished on the oil company's dime.
According to Nungesser's 2008 disclosure filing, he owns a 100% interest in a trust that owns 50% of the marina. In 2008 as well as 2009 he earned less than $5,000 from the marina which is now being expanded at BP's expense.
BP has been using the marina as a staging ground for its cleanup efforts since May 22, marina manager Leona Squarsich said Thursday. To handle the extra 20 to 40 vessels using it daily, BP has begun outfitting it with new piers, she said.
BP spokesman Steve Rinehart confirmed that the company had a contract with Myrtle Grove Marina.
Neither BP nor Nungesser were willing to comment on his ownership stake.
It's uncertain how the marina became a staging ground for BP. Nungesser didn't return a request for comment. He did not tour the oil spill Thursday with Gov. Bobby Jindal because of an illness, parish spokesman Kurt Fromherz said. BP did not return a request for information Thursday.
That's got to be the first time Nungesser has refused to comment on anything related to the oil spill -- the man has been ubiquitous. He's gone after both BP and the Federal government, frequently savaging the Coast Guard and demanding more resources for his parrish.
In addition to his ownership stake in the marina, Nungesser also reported having received less than $5,000 income from BP in 2008 for "mineral royalties."