Bellowing smoke

Did Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal just write off five states if he runs for President in 2012?

Jindal singled out “volcano monitoring” as an unnecessary frill that Democrats stuck in the recently adopted stimulus package.

“Their legislation is larded with wasteful spending,” Jindal said. “It includes … $140 million for something called ‘volcano monitoring.’ Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C.”

Four states are part of the Pacific’s ‘Ring of Fire’ which consists of over 20 active volcanos. Mount St Helens has errupted in recent memory. Do all of you know Mounts Ranier, Shasta, and Hood are active? They are all close to population centers or are vacation areas. All three have erupted or erruptive periods in the last 200 years. Money spent to monitor them seems reasonable.

Note- Anchorage airport, one of the busiest in the world for cargo, and Elmendorf AFB are close to volcanoes and flight operations in and out of both are affected by volcanic activity.

“Volcano monitoring is a matter of life and death in Alaska,” Democratic Sen. Mark Begich said in an open letter to Jindal.

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski quickly agreed, noting in a press statement how “absolutely appropriate” it is to spend money on volcano monitoring. However, said Murkowski, Jindal raised “a legitimate question about funding volcano monitoring in legislation that’s supposed to create jobs for unemployed Americans.”

Jindal appears to have exaggerated by tenfold the $140 million he said was destined for the nation’s volcano observatories.

Nearly all of that amount — included in the stimulus bill for funding U.S. Geological Survey projects — will go to other USGS functions nationwide, such as repairing facilities and mapping, said John Eichelberger, who heads the agency’s Volcano Hazards Program in Reston, Va.

Only about $14 million will be spent on “monitoring volcanoes,” mostly in Alaska, he said.

Oops describes much of Jindal’s speech the other night. Republicans better get their act together if they want to win in 2012(Not to mention avoid getting buried in 2010.)

You know it's going to be bad, but you just can't prepare yourself
The Knucklehead of the Day award