The full PDF is available here. The report asserts that federal officials have exaggerated the cleanup effort, falsely represented the placement of cleanup assets, and misrepresented what they knew and when on the official White House timeline of events. It also asserts what many on the Left have long maintained, that the White House has been excessively deferential to BP since the spill began, and it’s not clear down there who is in charge.
“The White House blog details a number of assets deployed in the region to combat the spill. This includes vessels, boom, and dispersant. The number of assets claimed, however, does not appear to match what is actually in the field. Parish officials maintain that the thousands of vessels cited in the blog are non-existent. One senior official refers to them as “phantom assets.” When asked to elaborate, he explained that when he asks the federal government to provide the location of the assets, it either refuses or cannot do so. Daily helicopter search grids performed by the Parish sheriff’s department confirm to him that very few of the assets claimed are deployed.
This is corroborated by Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, who shared a similar story with investigators. BP and Coast Guard provided Mr. Nungesser with a map of the Gulf allegedly pinpointing the exact locations of 140 skimmers cleaning up oil. Sensing that the chart may have been somewhat inaccurate, Mr. Nungesser requested a flyover of the assets for verification. After three cancelled trips, officials admitted to Mr. Nungesser that only 31 of the 140 skimmers were ever deployed. The rest were sitting at the docks. According to Mr. Nungesser, the chart appeared to have been fabricated.
I’m still going through this, but if you’re wondering why Louisiana residents frown on the federal government’s action in this crisis even more than they do on the response to Hurricane Katrina, this will give you a pretty good idea.