Vitter demands BP pay for barrier islands off Louisiana coast

Republicans, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, have criticized the federal government for being too slow to approve the construction of these islands, for which Jindal had been clamoring for several weeks.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), for her part, urged Jindal to proceed without federal approval and build the islands anyway.

The government approved last week the limited construction of some of the barrier islands, but, Vitter noted in his letter, BP would have to pay for only two percent of the construction.

"This is completely unacceptable and displays the lack of urgency and can-do attitude that has plagued the federal and BP response from the beginning," Vitter said of those plans.

BP has maintained that it expects to pay for the costs of the oil spill and cleanup — the company's executives told Congress last month they would pay "all legitimate claims," though lawmakers were angered by the lack of specificity in that phrase.

Democrats have sought to increase the liability cap for the company by billions from the current limit of $75 million, though attempts to do so by unanimous consent in the Senate have been met by Republican objections.

Reports have pegged BP's cleanup costs so far at nearly $1 billion.

Cross-posted from Blog Briefing Room.