Louisiana officials are wondering why they have still yet to be paid for the massive barrier island projects now underway in the Gulf of Mexico, even as BP rolls-out a $50 million dollar ad campaign featuring CEO Tony Hayward touting the company's response to the oil spill and promising, "We will get this done. We will make this right."
The $360 million project calls for the construction of an 86-mile long network of protective sand berms to guard marshes and natural barrier islands against the impact of the oil spill.
Over a week ago, BP was ordered to pay for one of the six barrier island sections first proposed by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal in early May. Earlier this week, the Obama administration ordered BP to pay for the remaining five sections -- a decision that BP said it supports. But according to several sources including Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser and Gov. Jindal, BP has yet to pay a single penny.
"Our people deserve to be fully compensated for their losses. Instead of BP shelling out $50 million on an ad campaign that promises to do good work in responding to this spill, BP should just focus on actually doing a good job and spend the $50 million on assistance to our people, our industries and our communities that are suffering as a result of this ongoing spill," Jindal said in a news release.
“We are moving forward with or without BP," said Gov. Jindal.
Although BP has granted $1 million to each of several parishes to meet the burden of those expenses, that money is running out, lawmakers and several parish officials have said. The company on Friday announced a financial reimbursement plan for cash-strapped parish governments based on monthly assessments. But the broad response reimbursement plan is considered separate from the barrier island plan.
Photo: Projects Monitor