I wrote my clients who live on the Gulf to see if they were all right and here is his response. He gave me permission to send this in to you as a "Letter to the Editor." I found it very informative and moving, and thought others might need to read it too. He wants it clear this is just HIS OPINION.
They own a small ranch in the Hill Country but they make their home in Abbeville, Louisiana where he and his family own and operate the main grocery store and have for decades.
As of today, the impact of the BP/Horizon spill has been mostly in the SE LA parishes. We have had some oil, that has been identified as coming form the spill, wash up in our parish (Vermilion) but not nearly what the SE parishes have been swamped with. We are expecting the worse here though and the local authorities along with State and BP contractors are setting up operating bases in southern Vermilion Parish.
Our fishing industry is in trouble, not just recreational but commercial as well. Oysters, crabs, shrimp along with fish are at risk not to mention our coast which was disappearing at an alarming rate even before the spill. It is amplified by the chance of a hurricane causing damage far inland in the event that one would come ashore, pushing a storm surge. That would be a terrible blow to our farmers and cattleman here in Vermilion Parish. Our parish is the largest cattle producer in Louisiana and oil on the ground would destroy the forage for the cattle and poison the ground for the rice and cane farmers.
We are all fighting for our livelihood and a culture that has been a part of south Louisiana since the mid 1700’s.
There is so much that BP and the Federal Government have not been telling us…too much for me to comment on but suffice it to say that it is much worst than is being reported. This spill is huge and growing each and every day.
It is interesting to note that the oil industry has been a part of Louisiana since the late 1800’s and that the first offshore well ever drilled, out of sight of land, was done south of Morgan City in 1947. In the intervening years there has never been a serious spill. The safety record is remarkable; I guess an event like this was going to happen sooner or later. That being said, it is reported that for every pay check received by an oil field worker, 8 other people benefit such as me or the local hardware store or the local Doctor. That is something to ponder given that Obama put a halt on any deep water drilling for the next 6 months. That is going to have a huge impact on our area and way of life. The oil industry employs thousands here in Louisiana as well as Texas.
All we can do is wait and pray.