Sending in the heavies post-“top kill” is Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Bayou Buzz reports tripling requests for funding after “top kill” failed. “I call on BP to immediately invest $1 billion to protect marshes, wetlands and estuaries across the region. Half of that money should go to short-term projects that can bolster the protection of the Louisiana coast within the next 30-90 days. The other half can be divided up among Gulf Coast states based on the immediate threat posed by oil spewing from the well.”
This is on the back of a carefully worded, referenced letter to Frank Hernandez, BP America Inc’s V.P. Government & Public Affairs [on 28/5/10 – pre top kill failing]:
“Commercial fisheries in Louisiana bring over $275 million worth of seafood annually to Louisiana docks according to National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) data. Along with the commercial sector of the industry, the recreational fishing industry also will be impacted severely. Louisiana anglers generate approximately $1 billion in retail sales related to recreational fishing activity every year. An estimated 4.1 million recreational saltwater fishing trips are initiated from marinas in the impacted area annually. Preliminary indications based on license sales and data from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) indicate that approximately 6,127 commercial fisherman, 4,238 vessel owners, 645 wholesale/retail dealers, 420 charter captains, 107 marinas and 1,200 oyster lease holders managing 358,740 acres of leased water bottoms and 1,047,074 acres of state managed public seed grounds will be directly impacted.
When combined with other economic outputs, these industries generate a total economic effect of nearly $4 billion annually. With oil contaminating the Gulf’s coastal marshes and estuaries, LDWF, in coordination with the Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals (DHH), has been forced to close recreational and commercial fishing in most of the area east of the Mississippi River since Friday, April 30, 2010. As a result, the fishing industry in the parishes of Plaquemines, St. Bernard, Terrebonne, Lafourche and St. Tammany have begun to feel severe impacts. This area produces roughly 20 percent of Louisiana’s annual seafood harvest, which is valued in the millions of dollars. With the continued migration of large volumes of oil across the Louisiana coast, other parishes are feeling the effects as well. Commercial fishermen, vessel owners, wholesale/retail seafood dealers and related commercial establishments across the coastal parishes are already suffering decreased re! venues due to area closures necessitated by the spill.
Economic forecasts currently predict that possible job losses related to this incident will be in the thousands; more than 12,000 jobs might be lost. Given the uncertainties and the potentially devastating impact on an already weakened job market, it is vital that the state prepare for reasonably anticipated scenarios.
In order to provide a swift and ameliorative response for the individuals and businesses greatly impacted by this disaster, as well as to address the long-term impacts, the State of Louisiana is formally requesting that BP establish a fund to address a variety of specific needs regarding business and community impact mitigation. The State requests that in this first phase, BP make available an initial $300 million in the fund.”