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Louisiana governor Jindal takes active role in dealing with spill

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A more basic objection comes from oil-spill experts. They say it will be very difficult to protect all of the state's maze of coastal marshes, especially if hurricanes help push oily water ashore.

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"For the cost involved, the chances of being successful at doing any good . . . are minuscule," said Jerome Milgram, a professor at MIT.

On Friday, Jindal took off in an open-sided National Guard helicopter from a far, swampy corner of New Orleans. In a few minutes, the helicopter was over the Chandeleur Islands, an arc of sand and swamps miles out in the gulf. Around one island, the water was unnaturally shiny.

"You've got some sheen over here to the left," Jindal said over the intercom. "Make a note where we see sheen."

As they flew, Jindal laid out the state's plans -- the boudin and the burritos and the sandbags -- to a collection of local officials strapped in around him. After he had finished, Landrieu spoke up.

"At the end of the day, they've gotta cap this well, period," he said. "And they better hurry."

"Amen," the governor said.

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