Now, why on earth would Jindal not want BP to know what the state response is with regard to the oil spill? Here's why:Jindal blocks opening of records from oil spill
BATON ROUGE -- Gov. Bobby Jindal's decision to veto legislation calling for transparency in the state's dealing with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is "the height of hypocrisy," says Sen. Robert Adley.
Adley, R-Benton, got overwhelming approval in the House and Senate to add that provision to another bill. It was lauded by numerous lawmakers as a way show that Louisiana has nothing to hide in dealing with the spill.
But in a veto message issued late Friday, Jindal said the provision could damage the state's position in any legal battles because BP and other parties could see what the state is doing.
"The Deepwater Horizon incident is a man-made event with responsible parties that will create long-term challenges for the State of Louisiana," the governor's veto message says. "This bill would allow BP and other parties with potential liability to the state to obtain information retained by any state agency responding to this tragic event. Such access could impair the state's legal position both in responding to the disaster that is unfolding and in seeking remedies for economic injury and natural resource damage."
Adley said of Jindal's veto message: "His excuse that it might allow BP to get off on what the record shows is ridiculous. How in the world would allowing our records to be public give BP an advantage?" Attorneys in lawsuits always petition records from the other party.
Adley said he wasn't surprised by the veto, but he is disappointed.
"I'm saddened because it's a black eye on Louisiana," he said. "The whole world is watching, and we have refused to make our records public. I've always been taught that justice comes from truth, and the way you find truth is through transparency," the senator said.
"My position is secrecy in government leads to corruption," and he questions what's behind Jindal's constant fight against opening governor's office records.
The man is a freakin' idiot. And a dishonest one, at that.Louisiana Wants U.S. Help, and Its Own Way
NEW ORLEANS — For weeks, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana has attacked BP and the Coast Guard for not having adequate plans and resources to battle the oil spill.
But interviews with more than two dozen state and federal officials and experts suggest that Louisiana, from the earliest days of the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, has often disregarded its own plans and experts in favor of large-scale proposals that many say would probably have had limited effectiveness and could have even hampered the response.
Melissa Sellers, the governor’s communications director, said in a statement that the state was forced to be proactive and act on its own because of the slow response and a lack of information from BP and the federal authorities.
“The bottom line is that this is an emergency situation,” Ms. Sellers said. “It demands quick action and quick thinking, and especially common sense. We continue to ask the federal government and BP to join us in this fight and battle this oil spill with the sense of urgency that the protection of our state demands.”
But a review of Louisiana’s prespill preparation suggests that the state may be open to the same criticisms that Mr. Jindal has leveled at BP and federal authorities.
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.”