Animal fat leaks into Houston ship channel (1/5/2011)
By: Allen Johnson
Jindal said he told President Barack Obama after meeting him during the president's latest Gulf visit that a lack of oil skimming vessels and an abundance of bureaucratic red tape is impeding progress.
"We very specifically told him, 'This is a war to protect our way of life and we're not winning this war, especially when it comes to fighting this oil off our coast,'" Jindal said.
"Clearly there is more oil than there are skimmers out there," Jindal said. He added that the some skimming vessels and protective booms are not being deployed fast enough because of federal regulatory "barriers."
"The Coast Guard USCG has identified [additional] skimmers that are available but it may take as long as five weeks" to reach the Gulf, Jindal said, noting that the spill is almost two months old.
There were more than 420 skimmers on the Gulf for oil as of June 13, according to Coast Guard figures.
BP reported Monday that almost 475,000 barrels of "oily liquid" has been skimmed from the surface of the Gulf, since the spill began with a deadly rig explosion April 2 off the Louisiana coast.
BP adds that more than 470 miles of containment boom has been deployed to keep the moderate crude from reaching the shoreline. In addition, the British petroleum giant said that nearly 600 miles of boom has been laid out to protect coastal beaches and wetlands.
Jindal said Obama's visit to the Gulf Coast -- the fourth presidential trip since a deadly rig explosion on April 20 -- will help oil-plagued coastal states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
"Every time he visits the Gulf, federal activity intensifies here in Louisiana," Jindal told a news conference at the Acme Oyster House, a popular French Quarter restaurant.
Jindal added that Obama pledged the Gulf states would see progress on BP's payment of claims after the chairman of the corporation meets with the president on Wednesday.
But Jindal said he insisted that the skimming vessels and other "bottlenecks" must be addressed.
Jindal also has called on Obama to rescind a six-month moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling, which the president says he will do -- once safety concerns have been satisfied.
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