NEW ORLEANS — With the Gulf oil spill approaching its 90th day, Gov. Bobby Jindal outlined an ambitious plan Wednesday to restore confidence in Louisiana and revitalize its oil-infested coast. His four-point plan puts the federal government and BP on notice for their role in the cleanup.
Jindal was joined at the Port of New Orleans by 10 local leaders, including Jefferson Parish Councilman John Young, who will headline a Heritage Foundation event today at 2 p.m. They came with a clear message: Louisiana isn’t going to rest until the coast is fully restored and its citizens are back to work.
The wide-ranging plan comes at a critical time in the cleanup. Fears are mounting in Louisiana that once BP caps the leaking well and finishes its relief wells, people will forget about the Gulf. Jindal is determined to keep it in the forefront.
The work is far from over. We will absolutely not rest until every drop of oil is off of our coast and off of our shores, and our fishing and oyster industry and our ecosystem is 100 percent restored. And let there be no doubt. We will be restored. We will be revitalized.
- Implementing a coastal restoration plan by securing funding from Congress and other sources.
- Certifying Louisiana’s seafood and getting fishermen back on the water.
- Lifting the federal government’s offshore drilling moratorium before it devastates the Louisiana economy.
- Holding BP accountable for damages until Louisiana’s wildlife, air and marshes are restored.
None of the objectives will be easy to fulfill. Funding for coastal restoration has been authorized, but not appropriated. Fishermen continue to face challenges before returning to their livelihood. President Obama shows no signs of backing down from the moratorium despite skepticism from his own commission. And there’s evidence BP is slowing its claims payments.
Jindal remains determined, however. He has taken a hands-on approach to the cleanup, a stark contrast to Obama. Jindal recognizes the impact of the spill and moratorium extends beyond fishermen and drill workers. Businesses large and small are hurting, leaving citizens in a fragile state of mind less than five years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the region. That’s one reason Jindal is asking BP for $10 million to cover therapeutic and psychiatric services.