Tags: Obama, BP oil spill, Deepwater Horizon, Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana, deepwater horizon anniversary, BP oil spill, drilling moratorium, Gulf Coast, Ken Feinberg
The moratorium on drilling in the Gulf, followed by the delayed permitting process has hampered an industry already in trouble. The result has been a loss of jobs, rigs leaving the country and the United States more heavily dependent on foreign oil.
After Hurricane Katrina ravaged our area and the federal response was so inadequate, President George W. Bush made a commitment to the rebuilding of the region and visited the Gulf Coast many times. In contrast, President Obama has neglected the region since the spill and will not attend any of the anniversary events in New Orleans or the surrounding area. This latest insult is no surprise for Obama has made only a few trips to the state since his election almost 30 months ago.
It is clear that if Louisiana was a blue state, the response would be much different. The Obama White House plays politics on almost every issue. For example, none of the three retiring Space Shuttle orbiters will be going to Houston, Texas, the home of Mission Control and the Johnson Space Center and the city where most astronauts live. The reason is clear; Texas is being punished for being a conservative state. The Obama White House denies that politics played a role, but it certainly was a major factor. Not surprisingly, the shuttle orbiters will be going to reliably the blue states of California and New York and to the swing state of Florida.
In Louisiana, voters do not support the liberal agenda of the Obama administration. Not only has the moratorium been unpopular, but so have the other major initiatives of the administration such as the healthcare bill and the stimulus package. A recent Southern Media and Opinion Research poll showed the President’s approval rating at a mere 36 percent. Louisiana voters understand that administration policies have led to the state losing thousands of good paying jobs. They also understand a snub when they see it.
President Obama does not camouflage his feelings very well and his disdain for this state is clear. A more mature President would be showing his support for the region, our seafood industry, and our oil and gas industry by making a well publicized trip to this region on the anniversary and vowing to ensure a strong recovery. Instead, Gulf Coast residents will not see the President tomorrow, but will continue to be plagued by an inadequate clean-up effort, stonewalling from Ken Feinberg, claims administrator, and broken promises from BP.
One year after the explosion, marshes are still drenched with oil, and our precious oyster industry has not returned. Even though BP caused the Gulf disaster, the company has refused to pay for the restoration of vital oyster beds. President Obama and his administration should be pressing BP to keep their commitment to this region. In contrast, there is utter silence.
Any fines received from BP should be directed toward the region’s recovery and the President should be the first one to endorse such a measure. The anniversary would have been a great opportunity to make the case for our region and pledge his powerful assistance. However, Obama will not be in New Orleans tomorrow, he will be in Palo Alto, California talking about his so-called commitment to “reduce the debt.”
It is truly laughable for the President who has increased the national debt by four trillion dollars, to be focusing on “reducing” it. We are now in the political equivalent of the theater of the absurd as Obama vows to “reduce” a debt that he increased more in two years than our first 41 Presidents combined.
It is also absurd that a state that has suffered so much in recent years will be neglected once again by a leader that was elected to supposedly represent all of the people in this country.
Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at www.ringsidepolitics.com. E-mail him at [email protected].