Adm. in charge of oil spill response tours La. after stinging criticism of Coast Guard efforts

MYRTLE GROVE, La. (AP) — The Coast Guard admiral in charge of the federal oil spill response toured hard hit areas of the Gulf Coast a day after a local official called for his ouster.

Adm. Thad Allen was in Louisiana Thursday to assess oil cleanup. It came the same day state and local officials blasted the federal government for temporarily shutting down 16 barges used to suck up the crude.

Plaquemines (PLAK-uh-menz) Parish President Billy Nungesser (NUN-ges-er) told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Allen is not the right man to oversee the federal response. He wasn't at the news conference. Allen did not address the remarks.

Allen says the barges were shut down for safety and downplayed concerns that the response efforts are disorganized and chaotic.