June 2nd, 2010
06:55 PM ET
12 years ago

UPDATE: Louisiana gets White House OK for dredge plan

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/02/art.getty.jindal.jpg caption="The White House has ordered BP to fund Louisiana's plan to dredge up walls of sand to protect its shores."]
(CNN) - The White House has ordered BP to fully fund Louisiana's plan to dredge up walls of sand to protect coastal marshes from the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Wednesday.

The news comes about a week after the federal government approved one segment of the plan on a trial basis. But U.S. officials raised concerns about the long-term environmental effects of what would effectively amount to building dozens of miles of new barrier islands off Louisiana.

"We have just received word from the White House that they are going to require BP to fund the five remaining segments," Jindal said to applause in an announcement amid a news conference.

Louisiana officials have lobbied hard for their plan for weeks as brown sludge from BP's ruptured undersea well seeped into marshlands around the mouth of the Mississippi River. State and federal officials huddled Tuesday with Adm. Thad Allen, the Obama administration's point man for the spill response, and Allen had promised to send his recommendation to the White House within a day.

But Jindal said BP has yet to move on the first segment, which was approved last Thursday. He told reporters that BP should "sign the contracts today to move the dredges, or write us the check and move out of the way so we can get it done."

Louisiana's strategy is aimed at closing off gaps among the state's marshy periphery in order to keep oil out of the coastal marshlands that are at the heart of the Gulf of Mexico's fisheries and home to an extensive network of wildlife. Heavy oil has been sloshing into the marshes for about two weeks and has already taken a toll on the ecosystem, Jindal said.

"You don't see the marine life that should be there. That damage is already being done," he said.

The state had sought backing for 24 projects that would create about 90 miles of berms. Only one of the projects had been approved to receive funding from the BP-paid cleanup effort, however, with the federal government telling Louisiana to go ahead with about 40 miles of other projects on its own.

Filed under: Bobby Jindal • BP • Louisiana • Obama administration
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. ajax

    It's about 3 weeks too late but i'm glad they recognize the need to get it done.

    June 2, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    But I thought Jindal didn't like government interference in the private sector, that the market will correct itself, and any help from the Feds furthered the nanny state?

    June 2, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |

    Paiush (Bobby is not his birth name) don't wait for BP just start the project and let the POTUS and his admin to collect from BP.

    June 2, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  4. Pragmatic

    I forgot... is Jindal one of those republicans in favor of "big business" rather than "big government" ... or is he in favor of just asking for Federal help when the mess gets too big for "state's rights?" Is Jindal one of those demanding that new wells continue to be drilled? Just asking ....

    June 2, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  5. gg

    i thought republicans were agains sueing corpperate leaders

    June 2, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    BP Paying?? I have this bridge to nowhere in Alaska that's for sale. Bought it on ebay a couple of years ago . . .

    June 2, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Jindal is doing nothing more than trying to score politcal points, sincerity doesn't require reading from notes especially in a disaster. I've seen and heard Louisana civilians speak from their hearts, not from reading notes.

    June 2, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  8. Greg in Cabot, AR

    Jindal is such a JERK!!!

    If he was a good leader, he would have gotten off the political stump, weeks ago, got on the phone and ordered the berms to be built rather than waiting on "funding" approval from the White House.

    The enviornmental "emergency" seems to be more about the "money" than the damage the oil is (has done) doing to the marshes.

    Does anyone else besides a "politician" wait for funding to respond to a crisis????

    June 2, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  9. Cynthia - Arkansas

    BP must be held accountable for this destruction. I still haven't figured out how the Republicans can make this President Obama's fault. At the same time, the Republican Senator is already howling for more drilling in Louisiana. DRILL BABY DRILL! DRILL HERE, DRILL NOW! Remember that? This is the outcome of that logic.

    June 2, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  10. bayouboy

    Its about time! Obama has drug his foot on allowing Louisiana to build these protective barriers. Meanwhile, allowing the people of Louisiana and our delicate coast to be impacted. Keep in mind, if not for Louisiana, the rest of the nation would have a lot less seafood to eat and Northerners would freeze their tails off during the winter.

    June 2, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  11. jj

    Opportunist looking stupid!

    June 2, 2010 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  12. deloris ford

    hey, what happened obama must of woke up

    no! he saw Gov. Jindal as a threat in 2012

    watch out Gov. they will be after you.

    June 2, 2010 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  13. Stacie

    Great! Does this mean we don't have to listen to the Luisiana Republican Committe Chairman, and Plaquemines Parish President, on CNN every night screaming?

    June 2, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  14. mike

    hey bobby why don't you ask your buddy the dick cheney what deal
    he struck with the oil companies behind closed doors or don't you
    remember drill baby drill now its spill baby spill and it looks like
    there will be no end in site what are you going to do when the people
    in your state start to get sick from the oil use obama socialist heathcare
    action speaks louder than running around talking crap you have
    3,000 oil rigs in the gulf that this could happen tomorrow what are
    you doing about that

    June 2, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  15. duckbutter

    maybe we need this guy as the next president,,, all obama does is talk .. get to work on the oil spill and help the gulf ..not just spend 2 hrs in louisiana between speaches..... dont you get it ..be the president,,

    June 2, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  16. Dan, TX

    But dredging is going to decimate the bottom dwelling creatures... Oh Well, guess there is little choice. At least we won't see the devastation that happens below the water.

    June 2, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  17. southern cousin

    Forty six days later, the Federal government acts. Makes me sure look forward to Obozocare. What an inept, corrupt slimy president we have.

    June 2, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  18. Jmoore11

    This is a confusing article because there is a difference between a "BP-paid cleanup fund" which suggests some voluntary action by BP and "...the White House that they are going to require BP to fund the five remaining segments..." While the executive branch has the power to regulate – essentially put limits on activities – they do not have the power to order a company to pay money absent a court order. But if the government does have the power to order any company to do anything they want, then why not solve the budget deficit by simply requiring that all companies in the United States pay all of their available cash to the government.
    If the government does have the power, I would apprecaite some credible research.

    June 2, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  19. Angus McDugan

    Wow!!!! Mr. Obama FINALLY got off his hind-end only because he was starting to look more foolish than normal.

    Mr. Obama, You need to be proactive and remove barriers to success. You must govern and lead.

    Gesh Mr. Obama. Do I have to think of everything for you?

    June 2, 2010 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  20. Veteran

    After 25 years of service, my family and I were transferred to New Orleans, Louisiana. I'm proud to see "the rest of the story". The many stories of a resilient people who have learned to adapt and recover after any tragedy. But they need more than two photo ops and department secretaries who are out of touch with the situation.
    Additionally, I'm proud to have the honor of witnessing the most "hands on", "walking his talk", leader I have ever seen. When I heard of Governor JIndal a couple of years ago, I wouldn't have given him the time of day. Now, I see this gentlemen for what he is: a man who genuinely cares about his citizens. He has given 100% of his heart and energy into helping the citizens of his state.
    In the military, we preach that you can only lead from one spot: the front. Since Day 1, that is where Governor Jindal has been, leading from the front and displaying energetic, passionate, and visible leadership daily. This is the type of leadership all the Gulf States and the rest of the country needs: a man of integrity, passion for his citizens, and a heart that truly cares, and a leader that will be seen facing disasters and obstacles "head on". Come 2012, Governor Jindal will have my vote! God bless his genuine passion.

    June 2, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  21. Chandler01

    There are serious concerns that the sand bars could force the oil further inland, since it would be the same amount of water trying to come ashore...with fewer inlets to do it. That would force the oil further into the areas where it could come on shore. Unless you build a barrier along the entire gulf coast line, I don't see how this will help.

    June 2, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  22. terry,va

    2 weeks plus late. Obummie has sit on his hands. This will be Bush's fault before it is over. Obummie isn't a man, leader or anything but a finger pointer.

    June 2, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |