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  • Live from the Gulf: A Rallying Cry for Drilling, Jobs

    This week over 11,000 people flocked to the Cajundome in Lafayette, Louisiana to send a simple but important message to Washington: give us our way of life back. Lift the moratorium, stop unnecessarily killing jobs, let us clean up the Gulf and get back to work. Representatives from the oil, seafood and tourism industries as well as local politicians and residents of the Gulf rallied by Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser’s words: “This moratorium will turn Louisiana into a state of bankrupt businesses.”

    Louisiana’s state think tank, the Pelican Institute for Public Policy, covered the event and collected sentiments from parish presidents, Governor Bobby Jindal, industry workers and interested citizens, among others. The Jim Funk, president of the Louisiana Restaurant Association clarified any public misperceptions of unsafe seafood coming from the Gulf, knowing very well that one instance of contamination could further devastate the industry. He said, “In all the tests that are being been, there has not been one thing found that is dangerous to your health. I mean zero – absolutely none. There has been no impact… It’s safer than it’s ever been. It’s being tested more than it has ever been before. The only hang up right now is the [Food and Drug Administration].”

    One might think the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill would significantly mar the relationship between the fishers and drillers. But the reality is just the opposite is true; the spill has strengthened the bond between the oil and seafood industry and the shrimpers and fishers have been vocally opposing the offshore drilling ban. If the oil industry goes, so does the Gulf’s economy. In fact, many of the workers in the oil industry also spent part of their time fishing or collecting shrimp and oysters. It’s this symbiotic relationship that has the seafood industry on the front line arguing against the Obama administration’s decision.

    We certainly should not dismiss the economic and environmental challenge ahead, even after the well is capped, nor should we dismiss the eleven workers who lost their lives. But the moratorium adds economic insult to injury says National Ocean Industries Association board member Dave Welch. Speaking about the moratorium Welch said, “Now another tragedy has been added to the mix with the new deepwater drilling moratorium that further threatens the economic stability of a region already on its knees.”

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    15 Responses to Live from the Gulf: A Rallying Cry for Drilling, Jobs

    1. Sherry, Nashville TN says:

      I'm not usually a conspiracy theorist, but the current govt seems to want to take over everything. Bankrupting the largest oil company in the world is the goal of this administration. If they shut down the oil and seafood business on the Gulf Coast, that segment of the economy will quickly die. Families will suffer as well as all businesses that rely on the oil and seafood workers for their livelihood. Most of these folks are proud and independent, they will not seek a govt handout or bailout unless things are really, really bad, thus not counted in unemployment numbers. I think the moratorium should be immediately lifted, and honestly should never have been put in effect in the first place.. No country in the world stops all airline flights when there is a crash, no matter how many hundreds of people are killed or injured. We don't stop a whole industry because of an accident that takes lives no matter how many lives are taken, think about this folks. When stopping any industry impacts thousands more that those hurt or killed and continues its impact by destroying the livelihood of hundreds, if not thousands of families? That is ridiculous!!! Of course, our sympathies are with the families who lost loved ones in this accident. Stopping the industry will not in the long run help those families either. If this company is bankrupted, how will they receive any kind of compensation for their loss?

    2. Mary Jones, Houston says:

      As a native of Lafayette, LA now residing in Texas – it was great to experience the rally via the livestream webcast. I was proud and thankful that the brave Cajuns are standing up for themselves and the America that is the home of the free and the land of the brave. For too long, we have been degraded as "oilfield trash." But, no more. We fuel America.

      This great nation was built with the fuel we worked to discover, drill, produce, process, refine, and transport to a nation – we delivered daily to our fellow countrymen in one way or another so they could drive their kids to school, heat and cool their homes, ensure the police and fire fighters could fuel their vehicles, that medical devices, computers, shoes, clothes, cosmetics, and the list goes on and on could be made better and cheaper. We don't forget the other hardworking people who fuel America – the miners, the nuclear plant workers, the people seeking alternative fuel sources. But sadly, it is the people producing the oil and gas who are being punished by the federal government.

      It was interesting that some Democrats said that the Republicans were taking food out of the mouths of children when pressing to have an extension of unemployment benefits all the while supporting the food being taken out of the mouths of the children of oil & gas workers. Why are our children less than others?

      The people in the audience are my friends, my family, my old neighbors who are all on the edge of their seats wondering a) how could their own government do this to hardworking people (people NOT looking for a handout and b) furious that the so-called mainstream media IGNORED the story. All the speakers were on target – Bobby Jindal, Scott Angelle, Joey Durel. Look for the videos on youtube – watch listen. Then listen to the one minute videos created by those attending – the people feeling the federal government's "boot" on their necks.

      I scoff at the left-leaning news papers and blogs who called this rally "astroturf", "staged", "partisan". They are wrong and it is just that simple. We are a non-union industry that works hard and plays hard – how can anyone look into the eyes of these men and women and say, "But it is for the greater good?" What a condescending, pompous attitude we have in the White House today. Never in my life would I have imagined a President of the USA intentionally put people out of work. This is not what my father fought in WWII nor the Korean war for, as well as a host of other family members who have served this nation in uniform and in a oilfield hard hat. We are a nation of freedom and it is being yanked from us by a minority philosophy that will not let a good crisis go to waste and they certainly are not wasting this one. However, the truth shall set us free from the injustice thrust upon the people of the OIl & Gas industry in Louisiana and other energy states.

      We will not back down, we will not bow down – we are AMERICANS… the ones who believe in government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We will vote out the current government of "stick it to the people."

      We will rally on, we will take our country back, and we will continue to fuel the

      great USA.

      May God Save America.

    3. Chuck From Oregon says:

      My heart goes out to everyone struggling to be a good American. Nobody is safe from this regime and we are all effected. The question now is, who is next?



    4. MARGE EMMER says:





    6. Paula Mount Olive N. says:

      the feds should be shot not letting these people work!!! What if they shut washington down in every building and every person had no money no job no nothing. Whatwould yu do??? The feds just dont care. These people have to eat. OBAMA needs to be impeached like PDQ!!!!!!!!!! pretty dam quick. He has turned against our own country. In Louisiana and Arizona!!! He needs to go there and tell these good people they can have their jobs back and go to work. See first hand what they are going thru. WHen he has no job maybe hell think about all these people that dont. 2012 he wont have one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    7. Paula North Carolina says:

      Why leave one you dont post them!!! Feds have found this site too i guess!!

    8. Paula Holland North says:

      I have posted 3 comments and they will not post them.

    9. Paula Holland North says:

      still if all in Washington had no job all of a sudden and had no money or no food. What would they do. Give these people back there jobs. It is rediculous. They need help that they are not getting. Obama needs to stop this nonsense. It is political andthats all.

    10. Billie says:

      He has no right or reason to hold back, destroy, directly kill livelihoods his mindset is counterintuitive to the American way. He insists on more of a crisis, a man of the people, would see to avoid.

    11. Billie says:

      I;m sorry, I meant directly kill livelihoods.

    12. Pat, Albany, GA says:

      I was just down visiting family in pensacola/destin/fwb.

      I don't know where you people are getting your information from but, you've got it all wrong.

      the streets are filled with tourists. not as many as last year but then millions of people are out of work and can't afford a vacation.

      so no, there aren't as many tourists as before and it has absolutely nothing to do with the "oil crisis"

      the beaches are not coated with oil, the workers have all but disappeared.

      if restaruant owners can't keep their business open year round then they need to close down. get facts first!

    13. Nancy, WA says:

      If tourists don't come, fishermen can't fish, oil riggers can't drill, hotels and restaurants can't host–what, exactly, is left which will enable these communities to survive and thrive?

      When a restaurant or any employer closes its doors, jobs go with it. Let's pray for Fellow Americans and a better day in America. Let's start insisting that Congress lift the moratorium on drilling–peacefully, but firmly.

    14. Deanna May, Florida says:

      How is it that two judges can halt the administration's moratorium on drilling, but the moratorium still stands? It is this kind of thing that proves that the president is either deliberately trying to destroy the country, or he is stupid. Look at the car dealerships that were closed unnecessarily and put thousands of people out of work. So much that this administration does is upside down and backwards.

    15. Billie says:

      Many people chose to vacation somewhere around the gulf for support of those whose livelihoods are being unfairly oppressed by American government authority.

      If you would've mentioned opinions from your family who reside there, I'd have considered the rest. Too late now.

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