VENICE, La Louisiana's governor on Sunday criticized energy giant BP and federal authorities for failing to act fast enough to protect the state's coastlines from oil from a massive undersea leak.
The U.S. Coast Guard and BP failed to take decisions quickly enough and delayed supplying necessary clean-up equipment even as oil washes onto the state's fragile marshland, said Governor Bobby Jindal.
"It is clear the resources needed to protect our coast are still not here: boom, skimmers, vacuums, jack-up barges are all in short supply," Jindal told a news conference in Venice.
"Oil sits and waits for clean-up and every day that it waits for clean-up more and more marsh dies," said Jindal, whose words were echoed by a series of Louisiana parish (county) presidents.
Oil from a blown-out BP well in the Gulf of Mexico has been gushing into the sea for over a month.
Jindal said he was "frustrated" by the slow pace and said the delays were "unacceptable". He called for the Coast Guard to delegate more authority to local leaders to protect their own parishes.
Already, oil had tarred 65 miles 100 km of the state's coast, he said.
(Reporting by Matthew Bigg, Editing by Cynthia Osterman)