One wonders why it took the mainstream media so long to realize what readers of this space knew well over a year ago, that the leveraging opportunities of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s decision to build sand berms as a defense against potentially polluting oil made the decision wise.
When the Macondo well explosion erupted to begin emptying oil into the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana’s coast, one of the parties involved, explorer and producer BP, asserted it would pay for all damages. Assured of a funding stream at no cost to taxpayers, the Jindal Administration began an ambitious plan to build sand berms to catch any oil that might threaten ecologically-sensitive areas.
As a bonus, the choice had real value added for it could be designed in a way for the berms to double as barrier islands to aid in coastal preservation and restoration; in other words, at no cost to Louisiana, hundreds of millions of dollars could go years ahead of schedule for improving the coastline, saving even more by stopping any deterioration faster. Regrettably, at a time when these considerations should not have mattered, because it was conservative Republican Jindal taking the lead, the plan baselessly caught flak from partisan and ideological opponents.
Even after the rectitude of the decision increasingly was becoming clear, the Democrat Pres. Barack Obama Administration continued a rearguard action to try to discredit it, despite that fact that, disregarding the enormous spillover benefits no less, expectancy theory before taking it showed the decision’s benefits exceeded its costs, in the short term its fruits subsequently had protected the coast from a relatively small amount of oil, and continue to provide long-term protection. Now, a year later, more time has provided additional verification of the wisdom of the decision, as the berms continue to act as the linchpin to an expanding effort still using funding entirely cost-free to Louisiana.
These days, Jindal’s critics have gone into full retreat on the matter, with the exception of the propagation of some wacko conspiracy theories, while the mainstream media only now seems to be catching on to the decision’s wisdom. Even so (especially for non-readers of this space), it likely will remain one of the least publicized, biggest successes of Jindal’s terms in office.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 10:30