Viewpoint: June 2, 2010

We may know as early as Thursday, June 3 whether BP's latest attempt to slow the flow of oil gushing from the worst oil spill in our nation's history is successful. We've had our hopes up before, so at best, people are cautiously optimistic.

For more than six weeks now, millions of gallons of oil have poured into the Gulf of Mexico. For more than six weeks now, damage has been inflicted upon our fragile environment, the scope of which we don't yet understand. And, for more than six weeks now, those who depend on our precious coastline for their livelihood have watched as their future grows more and more uncertain each day.

How long can a charter boat captain go without customers before he has to get rid of his boats and find a new career? It may be impossible for many fishermen, who are carrying huge loans from our most recent hurricane disasters, to survive another severe economic blow that will prevent them from fishing for months, perhaps a year or longer. There is even the potential for our oilfield related businesses to see the work go elsewhere, at least in the short term.

It seems unfair that Louisiana is dealing with the biggest environmental disaster our nation has ever face. Even President Barack Obama noted in his remarks on Grand Isle last week we have weathered our fair share of trials and tragedy. The president also promised that we are not alone, that we will not be abandoned and we will not be left behind. He went on to say while the media may tire of the story, his administration will not. Those were strong words and strong promises, Mr. President. We hope you make good on your promises. Our culture and our way of life depend on it.