BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — Gov. Bobby Jindal said he has repeatedly asked for but has not received information about oil spill cleanup plans to be launched by the federal government and the company in charge of cleaning the slick in the Gulf of Mexico.
"I've asked several times over the last few days for a detailed plan in terms of a quantifiable number of people and resources that will be deployed to help clean up and protect our coast. We haven't gotten those plans yet," the governor said Thursday.
State lawmakers complained Thursday about the federal response to the vast spill, which was closing in on the coast Thursday.
While Jindal wouldn't outright criticize federal efforts, he repeatedly noted that he's asked for more equipment and people to beef up containment and cleanup efforts — and more information.
Jindal said he's asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, the Coast Guard and oil company BP PLC "to see more boots on the ground."
It's not a matter of being able to reach federal and BP people in charge, he said. "We've had great communication, but what we're looking for now are quantifiable assurances that there will be the adequate resources to not only protect the coast, but clean up afterward."
On the Louisiana House floor Thursday, state lawmakers said the federal response had been lackluster, and coordination between federal and state officials lacking.
"I sense — he didn't say it — but I feel that the governor was very frustrated with the federal response," said Rep. Mack "Bodi" White, R-Central, chairman of the House homeland security committee.
He added, "This is our state, and we know how to protect it best. As we go forward, I'm hoping to see a better relationship."
Rep. Sam Jones, D-Franklin, called both federal and state responses "lackadaisical," criticizing Jindal for not issuing an emergency declaration until Thursday.
Jones, who was part of Democratic former Gov. Kathleen Blanco's administration during Hurricane Katrina, said the state should be asking the president, "Please don't wait. Send what help you can now."
Jindal said he's requested just that from President Barack Obama, Napolitano, the Coast Guard and BP. Louisiana's response efforts must be coordinated through the Coast Guard because the agency has maintained jurisdictional control of the spill, the governor said.