As Bobby Jindal is on TV almost every night calling for the federal government to act faster - and sometimes to "get out of the way" - here's an article
that highlights more of the story.
The state has an oil spill coordinator’s office. Its staff shrank by half over the last decade, and the 17-year-old oil spill research and development program that is associated with the office had its annual $750,000 in financing cut last year. The coordinator is responsible for drawing up and signing off on spill contingency plans with the Coast Guard and a committee of federal, state and local officials.
Some of these plans are rife with omissions, including pages of blank charts that are supposed to detail available supplies of equipment like oil-skimming vessels. A draft action plan for a worst case is among many requirements in the southeast Louisiana proposal listed as “to be developed.”
On May 3, Mr. Jindal went public with his dissatisfaction.
“We kept being assured over and over that they had a plan, that there was a detailed plan, that it was coming; we never got that plan,” he said.
But under the law, oil spill experts said, there are only two kinds of government plans pertaining to spills, and the state is partly responsible for both.
There are area contingency plans, which the state helps draw up and are meant to be in place when a spill occurs; and there are action plans, which the state helps put together on a day-to-day basis after a spill.
It is just as much the state’s responsibility as anyone’s if a spill occurs and there is no up-to-date contingency plan, said Donald S. Jensen, a retired Coast Guard captain who coordinated the response to several major oil spills.
"After a spill happens is not the time to make a plan," he added.
Nevertheless, state and parish officials drew up their own response plan, a process that usually takes months, over that weekend.
The amount of hard boom the state requested, roughly 950 miles or about one and a half times the national stockpile, was more than three times what the southeast Louisiana area contingency plan said would be required to boom the state’s entire coastline.
“I think it’s proven to be not real reasonable,” said Todd Paxton, general manager of Cook Inlet Spill Prevention and Response Inc., an Alaska company. “For one, it’s just a huge amount of boom.”
A call to put out large amounts of that boom immediately, experts said, was also problematic, as boom can quickly be rendered useless by waves and tides if deployed too early.
[In context, this means the state did not have its plan ready, cobbled together something over the weekend and put in it absurd demands for assistance that couldn't be met. Typical.]
The rest of the article describes how the state then grabbed on to the idea of sand berms and tried to rush that through, intentionally submitting a 3 page vague permit request, and then the problems with that idea. I've noted those in another thread. They include time to construct - 1st won't be built until August, that they may be useless, that they may make matters worse by funneling oil at higher velocity in any storm, etc.
As an outsider, it seems to me two things are occurring. One is a form of panic and the other is natural blame shifting. The state got caught with its pants totally down. They had no plans though it was their responsibility. Being politicians, they scramble to concoct something so they can shift blame. Others are simply trying to look like they're frantically working so they can cover up that they actually failed to do their job before. The more outlandish ideas - like more boom than exists - mean now it's someone else who has failed to deliver.
BTW, I note that as Louisiana cries about how money is desperately needed to keep people going, Senator Vitter (R) voted against the jobs bill, costing Louisiana $375M because the national debt is more important.