Sarah Palin Encourages Bobby Jindal To Violate Federal Law

Fox News Channel pundit, and for a short time Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin says that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal should ignore Federal environmental laws and build sand berms despite objections from the Army Corps of Engineers that the islands could cause more damage than they prevent:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) pushed Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) on Sunday to ignore federal rules and proceed with his desire to build berms to protect his state’s coastline.

Palin told Jindal to “ask forgiveness later” for a plan to build a chain of artificial protective islands off of the coast of Louisiana to help mitigate the ecological impact of the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill in Louisiana.

The federal government has yet to sign off on Jindal’s plan, earning the enmity of the governor, a political favorite of conservatives and a potential future Republican candidate for president.

Palin tweeted Monday evening:

Gov.Jindal:to avoid ravished coast, build the berms.Ask forgiveness later;Feds are slow to act,local leadership&action can do more for coast

Palin’s tweet underscores some Republicans’ complaints about President Barack Obama and the federal government’s response to the oil spill, which have centered around the administration’s quickness to response and adeptness at allowing states to respond quickly.

As with many things that Palin comments on, the answer isn’t quite as simple as she makes it out to be. For one thing, there seems to be a significant concern that berms could simply divert oil into the waters of neighboring Mississippi. For another, the ongoing discovery of oil plumes deep underwater seems to suggest that booms and sand berms would have little effect in stopping the majority of the oil from coming ashore eventually. Nonetheless, Admiral Thad Allen, who has become the head of the Federal Government’s response to the disaster, has already approved a portion of the sand berm plan.

Now, it’s entirely likely that normal environmental laws may be too bureaucratic to deal with a situation like this but that doesn’t mean that it’s either reasonable or responsible to say that those laws should be ignored completely, especially when what’s good for Louisiana may be bad for her neighbors. Of course, when you’re simply a pundit pontificating on Fox News, Facebook, and Twitter, you don’t need to worry about being responsible like, you know, someone who actually has political power.

FILED UNDER: Environment, Oil Spill, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. GS says:

    Okay, so you don’t like Sarah Palin. That’s not exactly a unique position to take around here. Still,

    “The Army Corps of Engineers has granted partial approval for Louisiana’s barrier island project proposal, covering approximately half of the state’s original request and including six sections.

    Under this permit, but without coordination with Admiral Allen and the Unified Command, Louisiana is authorized to construct the barrier islands at its own expense, so long as construction meets the terms and conditions established by the Army Corps of Engineers and any other required permits are obtained. If Louisiana moves forward, they will need to address all potential costs and environmental impacts.”

    So it doesn’t seem like she’s just ranting off the hoof.

  2. Gerry W. says:

    I am surprised. I thought “free market principles or tax cuts would solve this problem.

  3. PD Shaw says:

    they will need to address all potential costs and environmental impacts.

    Sounds like Louisiana may become jointly liable for the clean-up if they don’t watch out.

  4. Herb says:

    I think Sarah Palin is more interested in slamming Obama for not building the berms than she is in actually building the berms. Indeed, I suspect she’s just repeating something she heard in the wingnut-o-sphere, either on AM radio, a forwarded e-mail, or some right-wing blog.

    She’s like the rich and famous version of my right wing Uncle Jim.

  5. Dave Schuler says:

    I don’t believe in encouraging people to break the law for any reason whatever. And I don’t have any knowledge of the effectiveness or practicality of the berm plan.

    However, I would be interested in hearing some of those with more knowledge of the law than I have weigh in on the limitations of the powers of the governors of states in emergency situations and to what degree the governors must subordinate their efforts to the federal government under such circumstances.

    I suspect that a governor has both the right and the obligation to act and that even if the federal government nominally had the power to prevent him or her from acting they’d be unlikely to do so because of the possible political repercussions.

  6. John says:

    Sarah Palin was right to suggest building the berms. The problem is the feds are stalled because of Obama’s inability to respond. For him its about his political ego. He is now going to sue BP instead of working toward a solution just like he is suing Arizona for enforcing laws the feds are refusing to do. And what of the Nashville flood? Nothing, Nada, zero.

  7. Steve Plunk says:

    For someone who has no political power, was governor for a short time, and only pontificates she sure does get a lot of attention. Especially by those who don’t like her.

  8. I think Sarah Palin is more interested in slamming Obama for not building the berms than she is in actually building the berms.

    That sounds about right.

  9. SP says:

    Sarah is right. What Obama is waiting for?

  10. Amy says:

    There is no Bruce Willis who can fly up to the asteroid and blow it up before it hits earth. This is the real deal. The government DOES NOT HAVE THE EQUIPMENT/KNOWLEDGE to handle this, never has.

    It’s time to pull our heads out of TV land and come to the realization that BP screwed up, and even they have no solution. In fact, there may BE no solution. This could be the big one! And it’s Obama’s FAULT?? Do you honestly believe he has done NOTHING? He’s done all that he CAN, legally and practically. I think he’d swim to the bottom of the ocean and plug it up HIMSELF if he could. .

    “What is Obama waiting for?” How about: What does Sarah Palin EXPECT????

    I respond and respect leaders who DO NOT emote, the ones that stay calm during crises and don’t insult my intelligence by throwing around empty rhetoric that does nothing to address a particular problem at hand.

    Sarah Palin, on the other hand, criticizes, incites, offers no solutions. She is doing this to the current President of the United States during war time. Wasn’t that once considered treasonous or something? The woman is dangerous ignoramus and needs to be stopped. When will mainstream media speak up?

  11. sam says:

    For someone who has no political power, was governor for a short time, and only pontificates she sure does get a lot of attention

    That’s because the half-gov has the power to set off cascades of shooting stars in the libidinal cortex of a substantial portion of the male Republican electorate.

  12. sam says:

    @john

    And what of the Nashville flood? Nothing, Nada, zero.

    You’re full of shit:

    Wes Pruden: A salute to FEMA in Nashville, Washington Times

    [Yes, that Wes Pruden and that Washington Times ed.]

    When Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans five years ago, the Bush administration dispatched FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to help. Sending FEMA, the city quickly learned, was only sending in the clowns. The feds dithered in getting to the scene, and dallied once there. “FEMA” is still the ugliest four-letter word in New Orleans.

    In the wake of a punishing storm and flood that devastated large swaths of this city’s neighborhoods and parts of several surrounding counties, Nashville is giving FEMA high marks. (The press, not so much. The national media has looked the other way.) FEMA has approved $79 million in grants since the Cumberland River, which meanders through Nashville, escaped its banks two weeks ago. “Having this amount of money on the street and having served this many clients, this certainly wouldn’t have happened a few years ago,” says James Bassham, director of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. “There’s a lot of great lessons learned.”…

    Neighborhoods near the Cumberland River in downtown Nashville, and Opryland, an amusement park surrounding the Grand Old Opry, were under water for several days. Basements in many houses on higher ground were flooded when up to 15 inches of rain turned streets into rivers and low-lying lawns into lakes over two bleak and soggy days. The water receded, and the tasks of assessing damage and cleaning up began. Ruined furniture, housewares and carpets wait now at curbside for pickup, and the struggle is on with aggressive mold, muck and stench.

    But this time there’s many a kind word for the feds, who are often mistrusted on principle by Southerners. It’s genetic. Genes passed down from long-forgotten great-grandfathers who survived harsh Reconstruction make wariness of “yankee bureaucrats” instinctive. But FEMA’s quick response has dissolved residual resentment of bureaucrats, Yankee or not.

  13. PD Shaw says:

    Dave, federal environmental laws generally recognize and retain state police power to regulate and respond to environmental problems. The federal government has also agreed to comply with state environmental controls, with certain caveats, such as the feds refuse to comply with anything that impairs navigation. This system is generally considered one of concurrent jurisdiction, but if a court decides that the state and feds actions are inconsistent, the Supremacy clause controls.

    Also, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 gives the state’s the right to respond to an oil spill and access the funds.

  14. Pug says:

    For him its about his political ego.

    If there is a political ego involved here, it belongs to half-term governor of Alaska. She has an ego that is unmatched and responsibility of zero for anything she cares to shoot of her mouth about.

    I’m fine with the good citizens of Louisiana building berms at their expense. Hell, the rest of us are getting tired of constantly bailing out the small government conservatives down there anyway. It could even be considered a matter of “state’s rats” if they like. Maybe they could get BP to chip in, or borrow some money from Sarah Palin.

  15. Juneau says:

    From sam:

    You’re full of shit:

    You can always tell when the liberals are getting their backs close to that corner where the facts have become clear and the word- dancin’ is over.

  16. Juneau says:

    Obama is next to useless. Actually, he’s worse than useless because everything he says is blatant unicorn-dust.

  17. sam says:

    From sam:
    You’re full of shit:

    You can always tell when the liberals are getting their backs close to that corner where the facts have become clear and the word- dancin’ is over.

    Read his post, in which he flat claimed that the administration did zero for the Nashville flood, and the quoted newstory which shows him to be full of shit. Unless the task is beyond you. Oh, and re you, ditto on the original.

  18. Juneau says:

    Oh, and re you, ditto on the original.

    Yawn..

  19. G.A.Phillips says:

    Obama is next to useless. Actually, he’s worse than useless because everything he says is blatant unicorn-dust.

    Nice, but i would have went with blatant dried donkey poop dust::) the image of a unicorn is to good to waste on this poser…

    That’s because the half-gov has the power to set off cascades of shooting stars in the libidinal cortex of a substantial portion of the male Republican electorate.

    lol, Like Obama has on the male liberal/communist/pickanzi type electorate.

  20. G.A.Phillips says:

    errg, the bquote went too the donkeys on me 🙁

  21. anjin-san says:

    I was hoping professor Palin could give us another lecture about how offshore drilling is safe, Americans should trust the oil companies, and our problems will all be solved if we just drill baby, drill.

  22. Juneau says:

    I was hoping professor Palin could give us another lecture about how offshore drilling is safe, Americans should trust the oil companies, and our problems will all be solved if we just drill baby, drill.

    I was hoping that Professor Obama could give us another lecture about how he is taking responsibility and the how Federal Government is in control of the situation. But that was when he thought BP was going to be successful .

    Also, please define the word safe for me. For instance, is taking a trip in a jetliner safe? Or not? And please also provide with the quotes where Palin said “Americans should trust the oil companies.” Why do I have a sneeaking suspicion that you are either making it up, or leaving out significant context…

  23. anjin-san says:

    And please also provide with the quotes where Palin said “Americans should trust the oil companies.” Why do I have a sneeaking suspicion that you are either making it up

    Sarah Palin urged the country to “trust the oil industry” and to continue to pursue offshore drilling initiatives in light of the Gulf Coast oil spill when delivering a speech in Missouri over the weekend.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/03/sarah-palin-says-trust-th_n_561660.html

  24. anjin-san says:

    how Federal Government is in control of the situation.

    How exactly is any government, under any leadership, supposed to be “in control” of this unprecedented disaster? If Palin, or any conservative was President, how would we have stopped the leak by now? The sorry truth is no one knows how to do it. We are in uncharted territory.

  25. anjin-san says:

    Also, please define the word safe for me. For instance, is taking a trip in a jetliner safe? Or not?

    Ask Palin what safe means, she is the one that makes the claim.

    And during that year’s vice presidential debate, Palin told Joe Biden, “You even called drilling — safe, environmentally-friendly drilling offshore — as raping the outer continental shelf. There — with new technology, with tiny footprints even on land, it is safe to drill and we need to do more of that.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/29/drill-baby-drill-champion_n_558014.html

    If I get on a plane, I am making a personal choice to take a calculated risk. I am not putting an entire area of the world at risk. In this instance, the oil industry that Palin so trusts cut many corners and took a lot of unwise risks, all to increase profitability. The folks who live on the gulf coast had no say in the matter, they just get to live with the consequences (while BP is hard at work trying to screw them out of possible future legal redress).

  26. anjin-san says:

    Also, please define the word safe for me. For instance, is taking a trip in a jetliner safe? Or not?

    This deserves a bit more attention. You defense of Palin is to argue what the meaning of “is” is?

  27. Juneau: says:

    This deserves a bit more attention. You defense of Palin is to argue what the meaning of “is” is?

    No, my argument is much more straightforward. The concept of “safe” is not absolute. There is an inherent degree of risk in anything and everything. This why we have actuarial tables and the notion of “acceptable risk.” The damage from the oil spill is incredible and will have a tremendous impact on the whole gulf area. But you want to take the ideas of “trust” and “safe” and turn them into deception on the part of Palin because, in the case of the BP platform, they don’t equate to the definition of “perfect” and “infallible.” This is not a reasonable standard.

    Accidents happen ad, by the way, I’d be a little more circumspect about piling on BP, considering the information coming out now about the documented failures on the part of Governmental inspectors. And the details surfacing regarding the waivers granted by Obama’s administration.

  28. anjin-san says:

    documented failures on the part of Governmental inspectors. And the details surfacing regarding the waivers granted by Obama’s administration.

    The The Minerals Management Service is part of the federal government, but I do not believe it is accurate to refer to it as part of “Obama’s administration”. This seems like a deliberate attempt to misstate the facts in an attempt to pin this mess on Obama.

    The Bush administration spent 8 years dismantling the regulator/oversight/inspection functions of the federal government. The right cheered. Now you are complaining? This is the logical conclusion of that effort.

    No, my argument is much more straightforward. The concept of “safe” is not absolute. There is an inherent degree of risk in anything and everything.

    Hmmm. Well, Palin also claimed that offshore drilling is “environmentally friendly”. Care to parse the language of that one?

    As for “safe”, of course there is risk in everything. But to continually trumpet offshore drilling as “safe” is either a deliberate misstatement of the facts, or ignorance. Before I head to the airport, I don’t tell my wife “don’t worry hon, it’s safe”. I know there is risk involved, so I don’t tell her a feel-good lie. If Palin presented an honest risk/reward argument about oil drilling, she might get a little respect from Democrats. But let’s face it, Palin is a paid shill, and she is staying on-script.

  29. Juneau: says:

    Now you are complaining?

    I’m most certainly not complaining. I’m simply trying to point out that your President is just as culpable in this as Bush was in Katrina. So where is your outrage now?

  30. Juneau: says:

    But let’s face it, Palin is a paid shill, and she is staying on-script.

    We can disagree about a lot of things, and we do, you and I. But I really think that this is wishful and dismissive thinking on your part. Whatever Palin is, she most certainly is driven by personal conviction. You won’t accept this, but I sincerely have to say that if you think her statements are the result of being a paid shill then you are seriously underestimating her, and the connection she makes with everyday Americans across the nation.

  31. Juneau: says:

    Anjin: By the way, the ball is now in your court on the other topic we were commenting in 🙂

  32. anjin-san says:

    I’m simply trying to point out that your President is just as culpable in this as Bush was in Katrina

    An you have failed. You said the “Obama administration” had issued waivers that contributed to this disaster. Please document this. And keep in mind that the federal government and the “Obama administration” are two different things.

    If the relevant cabinet secretary had knowledge of the waivers beforehand and gave approval you might be able to make this case. This seems pretty unlikely, as some of the waivers were apparently granted almost immediately. If you can’t document how the “Obama administration” was directly involved in the waiver grants, you are either misinformed or simply making things up to make Obama look bad.

  33. anjin-san says:

    Whatever Palin is, she most certainly is driven by personal conviction

    Really? Have you ever met the woman? I have spent some time around politicians, including legitimate Presidential candidates. An air of conviction is part of the political art. I would be very hesitant to pronounce certainty in the case of someone you do not know who has such a short political track record. A track record is pretty helpful. I never met Reagan, but I have zero doubt his convictions about things like fighting communisim were deeply held. Ditto for Ted Kennedy and health care reform.

    Another caveat about Palin is that the woman is just not very bright, nor well educated Her convictions might well arise of out ignorance. Or is Putin really “rearing his head and coming into Alaskan airspace”?

  34. Gerry W. says:

    Here is the problem with Palin. It is the same ideology that all republicans go by in recent years. She talks of “free market principles” and that is the worst thing you can say to a middle class person in the Midwest. All it means is if you leave it to the markets is that 2 billion cheap laborers will take our jobs, if you do nothing else. So this is the typical “laissez-faire” attitude of the republicans. And this is what we got from Bush. Now, talking about Bush, there are those on the right that he failed because of his spending and I see that point. However, from the left or the middle, the ideology of just tax cuts (trickle down) and not recognizing problems prevailed. And with Palin it would be more of the same. It is failed ideology if you don’t manage the problems. So all we see is the same spiel and the same tired ideology. She repeats the same tired argument. To a person who saw millions of jobs lost, even during the Bush administration, means she is a total joke.