BP Aftermath

Oil Panel: Sand Piles a Waste of Money

Well played, Louisiana. The construction of miles of sand piles on the Louisiana coast was ineffective at trapping oil in the wake of the BP oil spill—and “overwhelmingly expensive,” according to a new report from the spill commission. The sand piles might, however, help protect the coast from storms, something Louisiana officials have been trying to do for years. It was pressure from local politicians that got the government to go forward with the berm construction, despite evidence that it would be a poor use of money and possibly environmentally damaging. The Gulf spill, reads the report, “presented an opportunity for state and parish officials to facilitate construction of a large-scale, temporary oil-spill response measure whose purpose might, they believed, "pivot" to permanent restoration of Louisiana's barrier islands—with BP footing the bill."