July 13, 2010

The Oil Spill Commission held its first hearing on the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico Monday at the New Orleans Hilton. During the public comment portion, local residents came forward to tell their own stories of loss and fear and frustration over the oil spill and the moratorium.

When words failed, music prevailed.

I don't remember a time where I've seen a hearing like this. I hope another never needs to take place. Whether the Commission hears or not, I did. We all should.

But for all their passion and courage, they concerned me. Many comments concerned their fear that a moratorium would destroy their business and their livelihoods. Others expressed concern that New Orleans would die for certain under a moratorium.

Their testimony left me wondering how on earth drilling can be made safer without a moratorium. It's a no-win situation, unless there is a way to structure the ban in a way that fast-tracks safety measures or other procedures are put in place to keep these people from losing everything they've worked so hard for.

These are the voices of the ones on the front line. Six kids and a second chance slipping from the grasp of a mom. A fisherman. A musician. And a life they've known slipping away from them.

I don't envy this Commission. There aren't any easy answers. On the one hand, these people see a moratorium as insult to injury. On the other hand, not imposing a moratorium gives them at least a shred of a hope they'll survive.

Lyrics to BP Blues

grew up on the southern shore
Louisiana now there ain't no more
kickin mud off up a crawfish hole
barefooted with a fishin pole

make a living with my own two hands
hell it's part of being who I am
went to workin in the oil fields
that's the only way to pay our bills

and if i'm lucky i can have a son
take him hunting like his daddy done
get him workin on a shrimpin boat
up and down the Gulf of Mexico

eleven dead out on a deep sea rig
doin what it is they had to live
oil bleeding from a gaping hole
up and down the Gulf of Mexico

Morgan City down to Mobile Bay
Pascagula down to Fla
still i'm stuck out here for 7 more
watching everything turn black offshore

and brother even if they cap the well
hell it's just another oil spill
our way of life won't be around no more
and all I wanted was to go back home.

little brother he ain't feeling well,
what you spraying on that oil spill
how may of us gonna lose our lives
before the people get to work on time

kickin mud up off of a crawfish hole
barefooted with a fishing pole
goin back into the oil fields
that's the only way to pay our bills...

(h/t NewOrleans.com)

Drew Landry's website

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We are currently migrating to Disqus

On May 14, 2022, we started migrating our comments from Insticator back to Disqus. During this transition period, some posts will have Insticator and some Disqus. For more information on the transition, as well as information regarding old C&L accounts, please see this post.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.