Thursday, 21 April 2011 00:01

Louisiana Remembers BP Oil Spill: Scalise, Landrieu, Nungessser, Richmond

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 Various Louisiana officials have released statements concerning the one year anniversary since the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill including those below from New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Plaquesmines Parish Billy Nungesser, Congressman Steve Scalise and Congressman Cedric Richmond: 


New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu

“As we pause to commemorate the one year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the 11 individuals who lost their lives and their families.

“A year later, we also continue to fight for those who lost their livelihoods. Many of our friends in fishing and oil and gas communities along Louisiana’s coast suffered tremendous economic and personal loss. New Orleans seafood supply businesses such as processors, wholesalers and restaurant operators have been impacted as well. We will continue to hold BP and other responsible parties accountable for fairly compensating those impacted.

“As I have stated repeatedly, this is a marathon, not a sprint, and the race to save our wetlands, to chart a new course for coastal management and to fight for Louisiana to gain its fair share of royalties on drilling off our coast continues. We need an empowered and active federal government who can stand up to BP and execute a plan to protect the Gulf Coast.


“No less than 80 percent of the fines collected from the BP oil spill should go back to the communities that were impacted, and in Louisiana, we should use those funds to begin to rebuild our precious wetlands which provide our country national, energy, and economic security. BP must also make a long-term commitment to help restore the coast it destroyed.

“The BP oil catastrophe has left an indelible mark on our way of life after spewing nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf and our wetlands. As we recover, we will honor the lives of those 11 men by continuing to fight for our way of life.”

Congressman Cedric Richmond (LA-02)

“One year ago, the Deepwater Horizon exploded, killing 11 Americans, and eventually spilling almost 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. On today’s anniversary, we send our solemn thoughts and prayers to the families impacted by the explosion. On today’s anniversary we call on the entire Nation to address the national impacts of the spill.

“Louisiana and the Gulf have made tremendous strides towards recovery. Our coast is filling up with visitors. The New Orleans' tourism industry ended 2010 as the number one destination in the country for hotel success. Just this week, the last of our federal waters finally re-opened to fishing, after our seafood was repeatedly deemed safe. We’re doing well, but we can do better.

“Last year our shrimp supply was down 37 percent and crab was down 39 percent compared to the four years prior, as a result of the spill. Also, oyster beds are not reestablishing themselves and some shrimpers have some real concerns about this upcoming season. Every percentage point we’re down represents a fisherman that’s not able to provide for his family. It represents a waitress at a seafood restaurant who is taking home fewer tips. It represents a small business owner who has to mark up the price on menu items to break even.


“Saving our coast is of the utmost importance. I cannot say it enough.  Louisiana's wetlands produce a third of the country's seafood. These wetlands are Louisiana’s first line of defense against hurricanes. Our coast supplies much of America’s domestic energy. Our waters house the country’s largest port system. The Gulf’s recovery is truly America’s recovery. In this effort, all Americans are Louisianans.”


Congressman Steve Scalise

Today marks the one year anniversary of the tragic explosion of the Deepwater Horizon and subsequent three month long oil spill that continues to mar our coast and our economy. On this anniversary we pause to remember the 11 men who were lost in the explosion, as well as the millions of people impacted by the spill and the thousands of people who dedicated themselves tirelessly to cleanup operations throughout the Gulf Coast. We must not allow the memory of the spill to fade from the minds of the nation, and we must remain focused on improving safety in the Gulf, as well as the need to dedicate the BP fines to our states that are still struggling to recover from the disaster….

The deepest tragedy of the Deepwater Horizon disaster was the loss of those 11 lives, and Jennifer and I will continue to keep the families of the victims in our thoughts and prayers. In the months after last year's tragedy I have met with many of the families of those we lost, and I will never forget their stories.  We must continue to improve safety for those working offshore and ensure a timely response to any potential spills in the future, and I will continue fighting to ensure that a disaster like this does not happen again….  

As we remember those who lost their lives, we must also not lose sight of the impact this disaster had on countless people throughout the Gulf region. I will continue fighting for people who have not been made whole, and push for reforms in the recovery process so people whose claims have not been fairly paid can have a prompt appeals process that includes a clear explanation, which is still not in place one year after the disaster. The people of the Gulf Coast deserve to have greater transparency and oversight within the GCCF claims process that they were promised….

Billy Nungesser, Plaquesmines Parish President

"The fight is not over and we must hold BP's feet to the fire.  One year later I still cannot tell you who is in charge--BP, the Coast Guard, or the Federal Government.  We need BP to finish the job cleaning our coast, to fulfill the promises that they would leave ample equipment here in the event oil resurfaces, and we need them to make whole the communities impacted by the spill.  Our coast is deteriorating at an accelerated rate because of the oil.  The Federal Government needs to treat the restoration of our coast like an emergency and take immediate action to stabilize the banks and shorelines before more damage is done," said Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser. "I want to thank Governor Jindal and all the Parish leaders--Mayors, Council Members, and Parish Presidents--from across the coast for their dedication and hard work.  The team effort was phenomenal through this disaster and we've grown as a state because of it.”





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