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Story Archives: Hanging in the balance
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|Hanging in the balance|
It was awfully nice of President Obama to pay a visit to Panama City, Fla., over the weekend.
The president, his wife and one of their children spent a couple days in Panama City, apparently in an effort to signal to the rest of the country that all is well and good in the Sunshine State in spite of the horrendous damage the Deepwater Horizon incident caused for northwest Florida's economy. When oil began flowing uncontrollably in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon disaster, vacationers who had plans to spend time in northwest Florida this summer canceled their reservations en masse out of fear that oil would ruin the beaches there.
The oil showed up but not as badly as feared.
Anyone who spent any time along the Redneck Riviera this summer discovered that the region was spared the worst, meaning oil did not coat those pristine beaches as some experts had predicted. In fact, the beaches in much of Escambia County, Florida were as beautiful as they have ever been this past weekend.
Yet, northwest Florida's economy -- which greatly relies upon tourism -- took it on the chin this summer. Many businesses, which must make enough money from Memorial Day to Labor Day to survive the winter, will fail unless they receive some relief. The relief, of course, could come courtesy of BP, the oil giant that operated Deepwater Horizon. That's a big if, though.
Meanwhile, while Obama was frolicking in the sun in Florida over the weekend, the oil and gas industry in Louisiana and the thousands of men and women who rely upon it to earn a living hang in the balance. That's the case in light of a six-month moratorium on deepwater offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico that the Obama administration ordered in May. Some 8,000 people in Louisiana have lost their jobs because of Obama's moratorium.
Sadly, we don't think he cares.
|Frank Morris Murder Series|