Anyone who is serious about the United States kicking its oil habit in the wake of the BP disaster, Mark Hertsgaard writes, must confront the realities of Louisiana, a state whose economy, politics and self-image has been saturated in oil for more than a century. With businesses shutting their doors and fishermen losing their livelihoods up and down the coast of Louisiana, Obama’s moratorium on deep sea drilling in the Gulf of Mexico should be a popular political move in the region. But it’s not. To many people who make their living off the sea and off oil, the moratorium is one more lunacy imposed on coastal Louisiana by outside "experts."
What the gulf state desperately needs is a planned, orderly transition to green energy that provides realistic, prosperous and sustainable alternatives to those who rely on the oil industry. And perhaps most importantly of all, Hertsgaard argues, this transition must begin immediately, because Louisiana’s oil is running out.
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