Jindal’s Berm Project “Underwhelmingly Effective, Overwhelmingly Expensive”


Remember those sand berms Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was so insistent on getting to stave off oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill? Remember how he ignored science and law to put them up? Remember how they’re the same berms that Jindal uses as part of his evidence to bash the Obama administration’s spill response and conclude that, in Washington, “Political posturing becomes more important than reality”?

Well, as it turns out, the berms were an expensive, wasteful idea.

On Thursday, the National Oil Spill Commission released a draft working paper, “The Story of the Louisiana Berms Project,” that concludes that building the berms were nearly useless for dealing with the spill. “From a long-term coastal restoration perspective,” the commission concludes, “the berms may indeed be a ‘significant step forward,’ as Governor Jindal has claimed, but they were not successful for oil spill response.” The report says that the commission would not recommend using berms for future spills, as “the length of time and cost to build only a fraction of the proposed project shows that, even with advance planning and preparation, and rapid review of proposed actions, it is unlikely that offshore barrier berms could ever be constructed to any effective scale during an emergency.”

All-in-all, “The Commission staff can comfortably conclude that the decision to green-light the underwhelmingly effective, overwhelmingly expensive Louisiana berms project was flawed.”

Sorry, Bobby Jindal.

IT'S TIME TO TALK ABOUT MEDIA BIAS

We believe that journalism needs to stand for something right now. That the press is the enemy of secrecy and corruption. That reporting without a sense of right and wrong only helps liars and propagandists succeed. And that we're in this fight for the long haul.

So we're hoping to raise $30,000 in new monthly donations this fall. Read our argument for journalism that is fair and accurate and stands for something—and join us with a tax-deductible monthly donation (or make a one-time gift) if you agree.

  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.