Editor’s Notebook: May 25, 2010May 26th, 2010 | By Terri Sercovich | Category: Editor's Notebook, news
Last month, after we realized the gravity of the oil spill just miles off of our parish’s coast, The Plaquemines Gazette ran the headline, “PLAQUEMINES TO SAVE ITSELF.”
At the time, when the leak estimates ranged between 1,000-5,000 barrels per day, it referred to Parish President Billy Nungesser’s first oil deflection plan, which included the strategic placement of a fleet of local boats equipped with water testing kits and boom.
However, over the last month, the situation has disintegrated further. The pipeline is still hemorrhaging oil and the original estimates were grossly under-reported.
BP and the Coast Guard only took into account what could be measured off the Gulf’s surface, not what was lurking just beneath.
We are now faced with thousands more barrels than we planned for. People are out of work. Those who relied on the seafood industry are suffering. And this damage will eventually extend to a national level.
This oil spill is a catastrophe. This is not a minor incident. But the federal government is treating it as such.
I can’t believe the extent of power BP has in the decision making process for stopping the leakage, preventing the oil from making landfall and cleaning up oil in the water and marshes.
For the last week, President Nungesser has been talking to anyone who would listen about his plan to pump up two barrier islands. Approaching oil would wash up on shore instead of in our marshes.
But for the last week, there has been delay. Local officials have criticized BP saying their information has not been accurate and their response slow. The Army Corps of Engineers drags their feet in the permitting process. Environmentalists want further studies on the environmental impact of building the temporary barrier islands up.
If a building catches fire and is burning out of control, does the fire department contact the owner before it puts the fire out? Or does it take action to protect surrounding properties?
So why do we need approval from BP to do anything? Why is the federal government not issuing executive orders to implement the plan? Why are environmentalists creating pressure to study the potential impact of the islands when everyone knows the definite impact if more oil is allowed to encroach further into our marshes and fishing grounds?
Too much talk and not enough action at this critical stage!
So here is President Nungesser’s plan to have rebuilt islands block the oil from further infiltration, for Plaquemines to save itself. Governor Bobby Jindal agrees with Nungesser and is using his influence to try to get sand on those islands. And here at The Plaquemines Gazette, we support the barrier island plan too.
On this week’s front page, readers can see the art to a bumper sticker supporting Plaquemines’ plan. If you would like a bumper sticker, please stop by our office to receive one.