Food

Fresh Gulf Seafood Gets Added to the Cost of Offshore Oil

Still working to overcome the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi Delta communities are again bracing for an unthinkable environmental disaster.

Fresh oysters, shrimp and crab quickly come to mind when contemplating the pleasures of a stay in New Orleans, one of America's best and most unique cities for foodies. Now those pleasant memories face the prospect of becoming nostalgia for a bygone era.

Still working to overcome the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi Delta communities are again bracing for an unthinkable environmental disaster emerging from the Gulf waters, a worse disaster than the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

More than 200,000 gallons of oil are spilling off the sunken Deepwater Horizon oil rig into the Gulf of Mexico each day. Even as an already enormous oil slick washes onto the coast, Reuters is reporting that another offshore drilling rig has overturned near Morgan City, Louisiana.

Two Vital Industries Get Hurt

The amazing food of the Big Easy delights the visitors that help sustain the city's economy. The region's tantalizing seafood comes from an industry that provides livelihoods for families from Florida to Texas. The Louisiana seafood industry alone is said to be worth $2 billion. Harvesters of fresh seafood lost their livelihoods to the Exxon Valdes spill in the once pristine waters of Alaska's Prince William Sound in 1989. They are still seeking redress of their grievances all these years later. Will the victims of the new disaster in Gulf waters share their fate?

Both oil spills already have one thing in common. When Big Oil was lobbying to set up those ultimately destructive operations they gave assurances that no such disasters would take place and their financial might overwhelmed the voices of those who warned of the dangers.

Clean & Renewable Energy

The disaster in the Gulf comes on the heels of an explosion that killed 29 miners at the Massey Energy coal mine in West Virginia. With lives and livelihoods being lost to fossil fuel extraction, it is clearly time for a better way to meet the country's power needs.

The U.S. amazed the world by gaining independence from one of the world's great empires, building a transcontinental railroad in the shadow of a horrendous civil war, connected two oceans with a canal through terrain some thought impassable, and put a man on the moon. Surely it is time to be the country that shows the way to a future of clean and renewable energy by harnessing the power of the sun and the wind. We owe it to ourselves and generations to come.


 

Jeff Deasy is president of American Feast.