Jindal: “Tough” on BP, a lapdog for Big Oil


This is how you know BP has really crossed the line: When the company that gave us the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the 5-million-barrel oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has gone so far over the top with its efforts to challenge legitimate damage claims and to cheat on its promises to the Gulf that it’s even angered Louisiana’s rabidly pro-business governor, Bobby Jindal.

Jindal has finally noticed something that we’ve been telling you about for months and months: That the company would rather spend millions of dollars telling you to come back to the Gulf because everything is just a-OK than it’s willing to spend its huge bankroll on actually cleaning the still-polluted Gulf:

Here’s Jindal this week:

NEW ORLEANS – Gov. Bobby Jindal had some of his harshest words for BP on Wednesday, calling the oil giant out for spending more money on glossy advertising than on restoring the coast damaged by its 2010 oil spill.

“Three and a half years later, BP is spending more money — I want you to hear this — they are spending more money on television commercials than they have on actually restoring the natural resources they impacted,” Jindal said at a meeting of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council.

Jindal was specifically comparing BP’s advertising campaign, for which the company planned last year to spend $500 million, and the amount the oil giant has paid for Clean Water Act violations and damage to natural resources.

Just this week, BP shockingly argued in federal court that it shouldn’t face any fines for environmental negligence, which could be as high as $18 billion if they are found to have been grossly negligent.

OK, so it’s good to see Jindal on the right side on an issue for a change, but BP — with blood and oil still on its hands from the 2010 disaster compounded by its recent crude assault against spill victims — is the easiest target a politician could ever have. When the going gets a little tougher, Jindal is still the kind of governor who sides with big business against his citizens:

Oil and gas companies have ruined coastal wetlands that formerly helped protect Louisiana from storms and floods, but Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) doesn’t believe they should have to pay to repair the damage.

The governor opposes a lawsuit filed last month by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East. The suit seeks billions of dollars from energy companies, including BP and ExxonMobil, to restore coastal ecosystems that have been trampled to make way for oil and gas infrastructure along the state’s coast.


A coalition of environmental groups accused Gov. Bobby Jindal on Wednesday of attempting to quash a coastal erosion lawsuit against oil and gas companies in order to benefit his political contributors.

Jindal has racked up more than $1 million in donations from oil and gas companies and their executives over the past 10 years, according to an analysis of campaign finance reports from organizations including Levees.org, the Sierra Club, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, League of Women Voters and Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans.

This is sad but not surprising. No politician with any sense of self-preservation could support BP at this point, and even “fiscally conservative” Republicans are eager now to make them pay for they’ve done as long as their government gets a cut. But the devastation that was unleashed in a matter of seconds at the Deepwater Horizon rig, and systematic destruction of Louisiana’s priceless wetlands which took place over decades, really aren’t that much different. The swamps that have been destroyed by the oil companies were the state’s last line of defense against hurricanes that have actually killed many more people than BP’s recklessness did. Bobby Jindal is hoping that you won’t recognize that. And his campaign is laughing all the way to the bank.

Read more about Gov. Jindal’s outrage toward BP at: http://www.wwltv.com/news/Jindal-blasts-BP-say-it-spent-more-on-ads-than-coastal-restoration-221578271.html

Here’s the Grist on Jindal’s opposition to the Levee Board’s suit against the oil and gas companies: http://grist.org/news/bobby-jindal-doesnt-think-big-oil-should-have-to-clean-up-its-mess/?utm_source=syndication&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed

Read about Jindal’s $1 million haul in campaign contributions at: http://theadvocate.com/news/6905418-123/environmental-groups-criticize-jindal-oil

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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