Monday marked a landmark day in Louisiana’s history.
More than two and a half years after the April 20, 2010 BP explosion and subsequent oil spill, the conglomerate had its day in court.
Civil court proceedings started two days ago pertaining to the damages that occurred in the 2010 disaster, which poisoned miles of Gulf of Mexico water and littered stretches of coast along Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
The British oil company reportedly stands to pay tens of billions of dollars in damages once the suit reaches its conclusion – penalties that do not include pending criminal charges against the company.
While the court dates mark a bit of light at the end of this dark tunnel, much more work needs to be done before we, as Louisianans can claim to be fully “fixed.”
President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation Larry Schweiger said a settlement with BP is reported to be near $16 billion.
On the surface, that number is astronomical and is much larger than most people can even imagine.
But he cautioned that when distributed across such a wide area, it really becomes spread thinner than it may appear.
He urged President Obama to take a strong stance to make sure BP is held fully accountable for the spill and its entire aftermath.
Louisiana’s livelihood was taken away because of this crisis.
Our seafood industry was shut down for an entire season.
Our oilfield production was halted thanks to a moratorium – a stoppage that cost our state countless dollars in revenue.
Thousands of our citizens were affected either directly or indirectly because of the spill.
Direct impact meant perhaps the loss of a job for a person. Sure, programs were provided to give immediate relief. But even with it, some citizens say that they lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Indirect impacts could be something as simple as wanting to take an offshore fishing trip, but being unable after the spill.
More important than it all, our area’s land and precious marsh was marinated in crude.
In this part of our state’s lineage, losing land is arguably the most important after-effect of the disaster.
So like Schweiger, we’d like to keep a close check on the proceedings to make sure that true justice is served.
All we want is what’s fair.
Our area was disserviced during the spill.
Now’s the time for the proper dues to be paid.