At least it’s not volcano monitoring

AT LEAST IT’S NOT VOLCANO MONITORING…. In February, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), in a national address, said the federal government using tax dollars on “volcano monitoring” was a classic example of “wasteful spending.” Given Louisiana’s vulnerability to and history with natural disasters, it seemed like an odd expenditure for him to complain about.

When Mount Redoubt in Alaska erupted three weeks ago, Jindal’s criticism of the spending looked pretty foolish. It got just a little worse this week.

On Monday, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-LA, announced that half-a-million dollars in economic recovery funds would be sent to Louisiana for the purposes of upgrading flood-monitoring technology. The cash, which will also help the state improve streamgages and facility maintenance, comes from the same $140 million in Interior Department appropriations that Jindal once criticized.

During his response to President Obama’s address before Congress, the Republican Governor ridiculed the use of $140 million in stimulus cash for “something called volcano monitoring.” It was a nod to fiscal conservatism. But when Alaska’s Mt. Redoubt erupted in late March, and officials on the ground noted that volcano monitoring helped prevent further catastrophe, Jindal stayed largely silent.

Now the issue of stimulus cash going to disaster preparedness is being brought directly to his home state and, once again, Jindal’s office isn’t talking. The BayouBuzz website could not get the governor’s office to say whether or not it he would “accept the monitoring system.”

So, what’s it going to be, gov?

Jindal can stick to principle and follow through on his message to the nation, or he can accept flood-monitoring technology for his state before hurricane season begins.

Decisions, decisions.

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