You are not going to believe this:
Federal Gov’t Halts Sand Berm Dredging
Nungesser Pleads With President To Allow Work To Continue
The federal government is shutting down the dredging that was being done to create protective sand berms in the Gulf of Mexico.
The berms are meant to protect the Louisiana coastline from oil. But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department has concerns about where the dredging is being done.
Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, who was one of the most vocal advocates of the dredging plan, has sent a letter to President Barack Obama, pleading for the work to continue.
Nungesser said the government has asked crews to move the dredging site two more miles farther off the coastline.
Nungesser has asked for the dredging to continue for the next seven days, the amount of time it would take to move the dredging operations two miles and out resume work.
Work is scheduled to halt at midnight Wednesday.
The California dredge located off the Chandelier Islands has pumped more than 50,000 cubic yards of material daily to create a sand berm, according to Plaquemines Parish officials.
Nungesser’s letter includes an emotional plea to the president.
“Please don’t let them shut this dredge down,” he wrote. “This requires your immediate attention!”
And So It Goes in Shreveport has video of Nungesser’s plea to Obama:
“Don’t shut down the dredge for seven to ten days. Every day is critical. Did they not see there’s a storm may be coming this way? Every day we can put more berm out there is that much less oil that can get in our marshlands. People of South Louisiana can’t take much more. I mean, here’s the Federal government again kicking us in the teeth. They issued the permit!”
Yesterday Ed Morrissey interviewed Sen. George Le Mieux
Yesterday, Senator George LeMieux told me in an exclusive interview that the Gulf response is still chaotic, with no clear idea of anyone being in charge or having a clear plan. States have begun bypassing the feds in responding to the spill; in Florida, the state rented skimmers to keep oil from getting to their beaches after the Obama administration dragged their feet on supplying them. The feds did start building sand berms to keep the oil out of Louisiana wetlands, but late yesterday they blocked those efforts to save the Louisiana coast
If the federal government has “concerns” over the location of the dredging, then they should have made that decision immediately. After all, they have had 64 days now in which to react to the disaster by building these berms themselves. Governor Bobby Jindal has been shouting about this very issue since almost the first days of the crisis, along with skimmers, boom, and all sorts of other efforts.
Confederate Yankee speculates:
We must ask the obvious question: is the White House purposefully sabotaging emergency efforts to save vital wetlands in order to serve a radical political agenda? Does Obama really think that wrecking rescue efforts to save coastal communities and delicate ecosystems actually makes his cap-and-trade fantasy more palatable?
Don Surber addresses the question, Do they want the Gulf ruined?
Some people are arguing that the Obama administration and President Obama want the shores of the Gulf damaged as much as possible in order to destroy the petroleum industry. They care nothing about the environment. They care about power. Without cheap energy, the economy collapses and a collapsed economy paves the way for socialism.
I don’t buy that.
Never discount the possibility — probability — of incompetence.
Especially when it comes to Harvard lawyers.
UPDATE: This just in, as of 12:25 EDT,
Oil Gushes Unchecked After Problem With Cap
The Coast Guard says BP has been forced to remove a cap that was containing some of the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.
Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen says an underwater robot bumped into the venting system. That sent gas rising through vent that carries warm water down to prevent ice-like crystals from forming in the cap.
Allen says the cap has been removed and crews are checking to see if crystals have formed before putting it back on. In the meantime, a different system is still burning oil on the surface.
Before the problem with the containment cap, it had collected about 700,000 gallons of oil in the previous 24 hours. Another 438,000 gallons was burned.
Meanwhile, here’s the live feed from the oil leak (below the fold):