Oil leak threatens `way of life`: Louisiana Governor

Last Updated: Sunday, May 2, 2010 - 09:42

New Orleans: The oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico is potentially catastrophic for the region, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has said.

"This oil spill threatens not only our wetlands and our fisheries, but also our way of life," Jindal told reporters on Saturday.

The governor said he had been informed by federal officials that the heavier oil from the leak was not expected to hit the coast until Sunday, a day later than previously estimated.

"They originally thought we would see heavier oil hitting us today (Saturday)," he said. "They`ve pushed that back until tomorrow."

The Republican governor, who will meet with President Barack Obama when he visits on Sunday, stressed that he expected British Petroleum to pay for efforts to keep the oil from damaging Louisiana`s fragile coastline.

He again said that he was "worried that (the operation) may overwhelm BP`s capabilities”.

Jindal spoke after bad weather slowed efforts to break up the oil spill.

Coastal communities were compiling plans that included detailed strategies for where to place protective boom material and Jindal planned to press federal officials to approve them quickly, he said.

"BP will need to fund these plans," Jindal said.

Admiral appointed

US President Barack Obama`s administration has appointed a Coast Guard admiral as head of its response to the potentially catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a statement said.

US Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen, who has been overseeing Coast Guard efforts related to the spill, has been named national incident commander.

"Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that US Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen will serve as the national incident commander," the statement from the joint response team for the spill said.

The appointment was aimed at "providing additional authority and oversight in leveraging every available resource to respond to the BP oil spill and minimise the associated environmental risks," the statement said.

"With this formal designation, Admiral Allen will continue to lead and coordinate ongoing federal actions to mitigate the oil spill, for which BP is responsible and required to pay response and cleanup costs," it said.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, May 2, 2010 - 09:42

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