The Gulf between Louisiana’s economic needs and the rest of the country
Mass layoffs. Double-digit unemployment. An economic recession reaching depths not experienced since the oil bust of the 1980s.
Two months into the worst oil spill in U.S. history, deepsea drilling remains stuck in neutral, and fear abounds that South Louisiana’s economy could be heading toward a steep decline.
Even as oil continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico 40 miles off the Louisiana’s coast, state government and industry leaders are calling for an end to a federal drilling moratorium, arguing that the effect of a six-month stoppage could be worse than the leak itself.
“If you’re looking at the numbers of jobs, incomes and impact on the state’s economy, there’s no doubt that the oil and gas industry has a much larger impact than the commercial fishing industry,” LSU Economist Jim Richardson said.
“This moratorium will essentially cut employment and business activity from a major industry in Louisiana.”
It is a difficult position for the rest of the country to understand.
So now, a full two months into the aftermath of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon, Lafayette and its neighbors in Louisiana find themselves talking about a different kind of gulf, the gulf between local needs and the rest of the country’s growing anti-drilling sentiment and the political posturing and manuevering that follows.
Read the whole story at the link for a glimpse of the estimated impact.