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The 75th Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival, "an event that proves that oil and water really do mix," is carrying on as always this Labor Day weekend, despite the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history.
There was anger and resentment to be found along the kiosks selling catfish po'boy sandwiches and deep-fried Oreo cookies—but it was all directed at President Barack Obama, whose moratorium on deepwater oil drilling many saw as punishing an entire region for the sins of a few. The ban was enacted in response to the April disaster.
Thursday's fire on a Mariner Energy Inc. platform stoked fears the moratorium would persist, suffocating small-town economies still struggling to recover from hurricanes Katrina and Rita five years ago.
Less venom was aimed at BP PLC, the company responsible for the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded in April, killing 11 workers and triggering the enormous spill that has brought hardship to so many here. BP is a sponsor of the festival on the banks of the muddy Atchafalaya River.
"It isn't like it used to be, when we had a seawall of shrimp boats coming in here back in the day," said Mr. Dardeau, who works for Cameron International Corp., the maker of the blowout preventer device on the Deepwater Horizon rig. "But the oil industry has really filled the void, and we're grateful for that. It's pretty much all we've got."
Originally posted by Kevinquisitor
I feel so bad the people living in the affected areas... BP being the scum that they are by trying to mask the extent of this mess are pulling yet another PR stunt by sponsoring this landmark event, and they have no choice but to accept it in the name of tradition.