Increased national attention was on the Gulf Coast yesterday when President Obama made a visit to assess the oil spill response effort. An official in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, is reporting that BP “bused 400 cleanup workers into Grand Isle” — at a rate of $12 an hour — to be there when Obama arrived. From New Orleans NBC affiliate WDSU:
Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts didn’t buy into the cleanup effort.
“They must think we’re all fools,” he said.
Roberts called BP’s efforts “shameful.” [...]
Roberts said that since oil started coming ashore in Grand Isle last week, no more than a dozen workers hired by BP have been seen on the beaches in the area, until Friday when the president arrived.
Yahoo News adds that Roberts said the “overnight contingent of workers was there mainly to furnish a Potemkin-style backdrop for the event — while also making it appear that BP was firmly in command of spill cleanup efforts.” A BP contractor, however, insisted to WDSU that it wasn’t a dog and pony show, but rather just a “sheer coincidence” that all the workers arrived on the day the President came to inspect the company’s work.
BP is now saying that its “top kill” efforts failed.