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

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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.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

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In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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