Louisiana Gov. Jindal to Obama: Give Us More Power on Oil Spill

By Katie Cline

May 30, 2010 8:56am

In an exclusive interview on 'This Week', Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal says he told President Obama “for us, it’s trust but verify.”

“You know, it’s that old saying that we’ve heard promises, we want to see that happen on the ground,” Jindal said.

The President met with Jindal and other state and local leaders on Friday. After that meeting, in a Sunday show exclusive, Jindal told 'This Week' anchor Jake Tapper that he was direct with the President: “We need more local decision-making authority.”

“We asked for senior Coast Guard officials to be put in each coastal parish,” the governor said he told the president.

When asked whether he agreed with Obama’s claim that the government was doing everything it could, Jindal said, “I think there could have been a greater sense of urgency.”

Jindal recounted to 'This Week' host Jake Tapper one instance where BP and federal government bureaucracy got in the way of the cleanup.

"Terrebonne Parish…submitted a plan for 180,000 feet of hard boom. The Coast Guard approved them for 90,000 feet. A week ago Friday, they didn't even have 90,000 feet. They didn't have that much boom, hard boom, in the parish…”

Tapper asked the governor what happened next.

“Well, in that case, they literally had hard boom sitting on the dock and they didn't deploy it,” Jindal said. “There was no excuse. The BP contractor said BP told them not to do it until the oil was coming. NOAA projections showed for days, and we saw the oil ourselves.”

“We finally brought the Coast Guard captain that was in charge of Louisiana's response with us on a National Guard Black Hawk helicopter, showed him the oil on the island, showed him the sheen in the bay, showed him the oil coming into that area, and said this needs to be boomed.  He agreed it needed to be boomed,” Jindal said.

The boom was finally deployed.

Tapper also pushed Jindal, an avowed conservative, to reconcile his belief in small government with his demands for more federal assistance.

“When government grows too big, it doesn't do its core functions properly,” he said. “Absolutely, I believe in a limited government that is effective and competent in what it does. We need federal government exactly — we need our federal government exactly for this kind of crisis.”

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