New Orleans, La. – Catherine Wannamaker of the Southern Environmental Law Center in Atlanta, Georgia, says the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is evidence of what is not known about the drilling industry.
"There's systemic risk that we didn't know about before and we're only learning now how we might be able to prevent those and to adequately respond if we do have a blowout, which we haven't been able to do to this disaster."
Paul Slattery has been in the New Orleans area since shortly after Hurricane Katrina. He volunteered for several months with Habitat for Humanity, and helped clear out the homes that were covered in mud and debris. He's been here ever since.
New Orleans, LA – Bob Thomas of Loyola's Center for Environmental Communications and Shirley Laska of the University of New Orleans CHART program discuss pay for Fishers and Citizen councils in relation to the oil spill
New Orleans, La. – St. Bernard Project Director Zack Rosenburg says the group has a four-part plan to not only get residents back in their homes, but to also make sure they're financially stable and emotionally healthy. A mental health and wellness clinic is expanding. Peer-to-peer counseling is being arranged. Outreach workers are being hired from the community, and a hiring program is starting for idle fishermen to build homes still needed after Hurricane Katrina.
New Orleans, La. – Landrieu took the mayors from cities throughout the country on a boat tour of clean-up operations in marsh areas fouled by oil.
"It appears as though we've turned the corner. BP and the Coast Guard were working very well together. There were 200 vessels that were working in Barataria Bay skimming oil, keeping it from the shores. However, we have a very, very long way to go."
New Orleans, La. – The Coast Guard will be outfitting the smaller vessels with communication and tracking equipment needed for skimming operations.
"This is something that is on a scale that far exceeds anything we've done on a domestic response before but it's also an indication of the willingness and the passion of local people to get involved and help us in this clean up. So the whole issue moving forward is going to be unity of effort."
New Orleans, La. – Landrieu says all the bad news about the oil spill is confusing visitors into believing the oil is lapping up in the city, and seafood isn't safe. Neither is true, but he says the misperception could take hold.
"It is really important that we get way ahead of this. We can see it coming. We know what's going to happen. We know how to prevent it. We need the resources to do it. It's an easy call."