Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In Louisiana, "Gulf" means oil and gas

Pity poor Barack Obama.  The man is getting fruits and vegetables thrown at him from all directions, from friends and enemies alike. True, some of the reaction is self-imposed -- last night's much-touted but ultimately flaccid speech being the latest example -- but, at the end of the day, our President finds himself smack dab in the middle of a crazy conundrum:  Louisiana's oil and gas industry is as Cajun as its crawdads.

Anyone who grew up or has lived in the Northeast is familiar with Gulf gas stations; they're ubiquitous.  They're also aptly named.

To me -- and I imagine most Americans -- Louisiana conjures up images of Spanish moss, bayous, Cajun music and gumbo. However, this list is missing something:

[Image via USA Today.]

Perhaps this explains why the great majority of people in Louisiana still support offshore drilling -- 77% according to a recent poll by Public Policy Polling.  [Hat tip:  TPM.]

One -- especially a non-local -- might reasonably ask if they are not completely nuts.  It's one thing for a non-resident to blithely support a polluting industry far from their own backyard, but these are their waters -- the same waters where they fish for their -- and our -- seafood.  Why are they so happy to risk it?

[Image via]

Pity poor Barack Obama.