Blog: No is Not Acceptable


Date: July 8, 2010

Recently I flew over Lake Pontchartrain which is now threatened by tar balls and oil after decades of work to restore the lake to healthy levels. For weeks we requested 20 miles of boom to create multiple layers of defense for the Lake along with shallow water skimmers. The recent oil impact on Lake Pontchartrain now brings the total amount of shoreline impacted by oil in Louisiana to over 337 miles.

Even with this mounting crisis and rising miles of shoreline impacted by oil, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rejected a coastal protection measure for Barataria Bay just this past Saturday. This rejection came after a month of meetings, phone calls and compromises to try and win federal approval. We even joined locals to meet with the President on this rock plan around a month ago. We were told that we would get a response in a matter of days. Instead, several weeks later, we got a flat rejection. As I told the Baton Rouge Advocate, only a bureaucrat in Washington, D.C. would say rocks are more harmful to our water than oil. These people need to come to Louisiana. They need to touch the oil, feel the oil, and smell the oil that threatens our way of life here.

Most frustrating of all is that when the federal government denies one of our plans they also fail to offer an alternative. We need the federal government to show a greater sense of urgency and fight this oil like the war that it is. As I also told the New Orleans Times-Picayune, simply saying no is not an answer, no is not a plan, and no is not acceptable.

We need the federal government to recognize that when they reject our defense measures they fundamentally choose for oil to come in our wetlands. That will never be the choice we make. We cannot allow bureaucratic roadblocks to prevent good plans from being implemented.

This week we also took Senator Mary Landrieu and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus -- who the President charged with developing a long-term recovery plan for the Gulf Coast -- on a flyover of our coast to show the oil impact here as well as the significant coastal erosion problems we have experienced for generations. This year we were on track to have the lowest rate of land loss in 80 years. Now, that progress is threatened by oil impacting our coast and wetlands. We had a very clear message for Secretary Mabus. The time for coastal restoration studies is over. Our fragile coastline cannot afford years of more studies. We need quick action to restore our coast.

Finally, I am constantly amazed by the perseverance of our people in responding to this disaster. They are on the front lines every day -- turning fishing boats into defense ships, dragging boom to stop oil -- and always coming up with more ideas to protect our land and waters. It is the same spirit of perseverance that strengthened us through Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike; and this same perseverance leaves no doubt in my mind that we will win this war against the oil spill and come back better than ever before. To the people of coastal Louisiana, we will stand with you and work alongside you until every drop of oil is off of our coast and out of our waters and all of our fisheries and our industries are 100 percent restored. Our prayers continue to be with those on the coast and every Louisianian who is impacted by this spill.


Governor Bobby Jindal