Lately, Louisiana residents have worried that their lunchtime oyster and shrimp poboys are torpedoing the weekly budget. After a series of calamities in recent years, Louisiana shellfish is expensive and won't become cheaper anytime soon.
There are images and reports that BP and the tourist industry don't talk about much. Most tourists have no idea there are 4,000 oil spills a year in the Gulf. The size and stakes of this oil threat are still as big as they've ever been.
In a strong rebuke to BP and the legal ethics of its embattled hired gun, Ken Feinberg, a federal judge ruled it was misleading for Feinberg to call himself "independent" of BP. Finally, the residents in the Gulf may have caught a break.
BP's intent all along has been to bury the oil underwater and keep it out of sight. Some biologists agree that keeping it underwater and out of the marshes is best. But many fishermen think once it gets on the bottom, it can't be retrieved.
As history shows, any small, short-term budgetary gains from work force cutbacks are likely to be offset by serious regulatory missteps, more after-the-fact finger-pointing and a continuation of the cycle of failure and mistrust.
People have suggested that since the Gulf Coast voted for politicians funded by big oil, it deserves whatever it gets. But writing off a region becomes more difficult if you think about the children breathing in the fumes and drinking the water.
In 2000 at the time of the Guanabara spill people estimated it would take 10 years for the ecosystem to recover. I was recently led into a large patch of mangrove that was hardest hit by the oil and there is no recovery after all these years.