[StBernard] St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro Asks for Additional Support from a Federal Level

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Tue Jun 29 23:47:11 EDT 2010

St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro Asks for Additional Support from
a Federal Level

Appearing at an afternoon press conference Monday, St. Bernard Parish
President Craig Taffaro spoke in Grand Isle alongside Governor Bobby Jindal.

"Thank you Governor, and again the importance of the regional approach
that's led by the Governor is underscored again today. What we have is a
situation that continues to develop not as a surprise, but as the reality
that we have been predicting for the last two months.

"From Terrebone and Lafourche, Cameron Parish, all the way around to St.
Tammany Parish, every municipality now is in the same boat in terms of being
in danger of being struck by massive amounts of oil. As the Governor
recognized, the frustrations on the Chandeleur Islands are similar to the
same frustrations that are being felt in Fourchon as well as Grand Isle and
Lafitte. We have plans, and void of a better plan these plans should be
enacted and supported to every extent possible.

"We've been told that this is a war, and I agree. The Governor stated
exactly the point at which we have to take this on. If we were really in a
war, I've asked my colleagues, I've asked those consulting military
personnel. If we were in a war would we be sitting back and taking a
defensive posture or would we be attacking the enemy?

"Now, to show you or to illustrate when the local plan is enacted or
supported, we had some of our first skimming vessels that were made from our
commercial fishing fleet, out into the open water yesterday. In a matter of
two hours, they skimmed forty barrels of oil. In two hours, two of our local
commercial fishing fleet task force skimmed forty barrels of oil. Now, if
that type of ingenuity, if that type of commitment could be supported from
the local level all the way up to the federal level imagine what we could do
across this coastline.

"Putting the resources where they need to be, it's not a matter of the
coastal parishes not working together. It's a matter of having the resources
in place and being supported because no one, no one, understands unless
they've been living this for two months. Those individuals that are making
those decisions from Washington D.C. need to be down here not just for a
photo op, not just for a sound bite. Pack their bags and stay down here
until this job is finished.

"There's not a silver bullet that someone from Washington can send to us and
end this crisis. That's not happening. The well is still pumping thousands
and thousands and thousands of barrels of oil into this Gulf. And for some
reason we now have taken on this approach that it's just going to happen.
This goes well beyond this region. It goes well beyond Houma. We believe we
actually have Houma's support now, in many cases. But somewhere there's a

"Every person who walks these grounds, from the Coast Guard to BP to the
local municipalities to the commercial fishing industry, everyone who is
here is united in this fight. I feel sad for the Coast Guard members and BP
members who are here on the ground because they get it. They're here.
They're not making a drive-by. They're not making a stop-in and saying,
'Yep, that's a pretty bad situation.' And going back to their homes and
forgetting about what's happening every single day in the lives of the
people who live here. They're here. They rotate out with tears in their eyes
because the job's not finished and it goes against their character to leave
the job undone. That's the type of commitment we need. That's the type of
ingenuity we need. That's the type of creativity we need from the federal

"Listen, we're grateful for the support we have had. We're grateful for
that. But it's just not enough yet. It's just not enough yet. So, when we
look at the Chandeleur Islands and we look at Fourchon and we look at Grand
Isle and there's a plan that will work and we can't get permits or support
to do it, that's where the frustration comes from. It's not that there's not
a plan. It's not that people are running around without an idea of what to
do. Heck, the Governor has been involved in this from day one. I think he
has spent more time in our coastal region than he's spent in Baton Rouge.
Because there's a plan here that needs to be in place.

"So all we do is ask for the continued support from Houma. We ask that the
local level not lose hope. And we ask the federal delegation to please come
down and stay with us until this job is done. Thank you."

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