Bobby Jindal and Billy Nungesser said the 6-foot-high berms are critical to help keep oil out of delicate wetlands. But some scientists and federal officials questioned the berms’ effectiveness and warned about unintended environmental consequences.
For the past few months, opposition and media is criticizing Louisiana governor's project to protect the coastline at the height of the Gulf oil spill as a colossal-- $200 million waste of BP's money up to now.
In a new book, Jindal calls the berms "our last line of defense," and in a national television interview, he described them as a "great success."
BP originally committed $360 million to the project. Of that, $195 million has been spent so far. The state plans to spend the rest.The state initially wanted to build 101 miles of berm, but was given emergency approval to build 36 miles.As of October, some 350 million cubic feet of sand had been moved to make the barriers, the equivalent of digging 665 miles of four-lane interstate, according to the state
Rob Young, a Western Carolina University geosciences professor who wrote an opinion article in the New York Times critical of the berms, said:
- the photos depict clear signs of “erosional scouring.”
- You have to be careful about drawing grand conclusions
- But these pictures show how difficult it is to build these things and keep them there. It’s not like Hurricane Katrina ran over them.
- The state’s more recent photos show that “they’ve obviously been hard at work rebuilding the berm.”
Billy Nungesser, who attended Bobby Jindal’s news conference, said some sand loss is inevitable until grasses have been planted to limit erosion.
Bobby Jindal said he hadn’t seen the photos Len Bahr released. But the governor said the berm is large enough to accommodate “multiple helicopters” and invited members of the news media to tour the site.
“If a hurricane threatens the area, they’ve got to move all the oil containment equipment out for two weeks,” he said. “This sand berm can stay up there 24/7 and stop the oil.”
Rob Young said he is unimpressed by the 500 pounds of oily debris collected so far.
80% of the people like him, the way politician suppose to be. If sciencist panel conclude that it was a waste of money.. then we like the people who raise this voice and say: he was paying back his supporters to provide some specifics, which companies, and where is the proof of their donations?.