Gulf Oil Spill: Latest Plan Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal Supports Draws Criticism From Federal Government and Scientists

Gov't and scientists say plan Jindal supports could do more harm than good.

ByABC News
July 7, 2010, 6:44 PM

July 7, 2010— -- Scientists and government officials fired back at Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal today, saying homegrown plans he is backing to protect the state's delicate coastline could actually do more harm than good.

Jindal, a Republican, has criticized the Obama administration for weeks, using fiery language to accuse the government of a lackluster and slow response to the oil spill crisis.

Jindal flew over Barataria Bay on this 79th day of since BP's Deepwater Horizon well exploded, sending up to 60,000 barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico. He was there to take another look at the environmentally sensitive coastline where oil has been encroaching for weeks. It is in that location that he and other Louisiana officials want to build their latest controversial attempt to stop the oil from reaching their coast -- a rock barrier.

Watch "World News" for more coverage of the BP oil spill

Jindal supports a plan to build artificial islands made of tons of rocks and boulders, which he says would slow the flow of oil into the bay, but federal officials have refused the state the necessary permissions to build, and that has triggered an increasingly heated political confrontation.

"We don't have time for meetings, we don't have time for red tape," Jindal has said. "Get in the game to win."

Jindal has used similar highly critical language to poke at the Obama administration for more than a month.

"No is not a plan," the governor said at a press conference today.

Privately, federal officials are furious with Jindal's behavior and say they're baffled by his plans, but it's not just federal officials that are opposed to Jindal's rock jetty proposal.

Multiple government agencies have weighed in opposing the plan, but an army of scientists has also come forward to express their concerns.

The scientists worry that the rock plan could do more harm than good, fearing that in the event of a tropical storm or hurricane, water and oil would rush in the remaining gaps between the natural islands at an even faster rate than now.

When that water inevitably flows back out to sea, they say, it could erode the fragile barrier islands and create new gaps for oil to get in.