Friday, April 30, 2010

Feeling helpless

From the Houma Comet

The spill threatens to have far-reaching consequences.

It could cause widespread damage to wildlife in an area of highly sensitive marshes, wetlands and estuaries that produce one-quarter of the seafood consumed in the USA, said Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-La., whose district includes Louisiana's southeast coast. "Every American is going to feel this if it gets as bad as they say it might," he said.

Melancon said he was "waiting for answers" from the federal government as to what equipment was available to stop the oil from spreading, and when it could get there. "You just feel helpless," he said. "This is an area that has been through an awful lot."

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal warned that billions of dollars' worth of coastal restoration projects undertaken after hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit in 2005 are at risk. The disaster also could affect a pillar of Obama's energy plan - an initiative announced a month ago that could open up new areas off the Atlantic Coast and elsewhere to offshore drilling.

Local fisherman Acy Cooper said he was frustrated that the cleanup effort - headed by the Coast Guard and the oil rig's operator, global energy giant BP - waited until Thursday to begin recruiting local fishermen to help.

"We should've been the first one they contacted," Cooper said "We know the bayous better than anyone else."

No comments: