Jindal's volcano remark upsets mayor

Feb. 26, 2009 at 10:40 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal stands by his swipe at federal spending to monitor volcanoes but a mayor in the path of a volcano is fuming, officials say.

In delivering the Republican response to U.S. President Barack Obama's speech this week, Jindal, a rising GOP star, questioned why "something called 'volcano monitoring'" was included in the massive economical stimulus bill.

His question promptly rankled the mayor of one city in the shadow of Mount St. Helens, CNN reported.

"Does the governor have a volcano in his backyard?" Royce Pollard, the mayor of Vancouver, Wash., said to CNN. "We have one that's very active, and it still rumbles and spits and coughs very frequently."

The U.S. Geological Survey, which received the money Jindal criticized, is monitoring several active volcanoes across the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Hawaii, CNN said. One of those is Mount St. Helens, about 70 miles north of Vancouver, Wash., and neighboring Portland, Ore. The volcano killed 57 people when it erupted in 1980.

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