SANTA BARBARA, CA - Mayors across the country gathered in New Orleans to stand in solidarity with the Gulf community affected by the oil disaster. Mayor Helene Schneider met with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and other mayors of the impacted region to urge federal leaders and BP to accept recommendations from the United States Conference of Mayors for more coordination in disaster clean-up efforts.
Mayors from across the nation were represented, including Long Beach, CA; Houston, TX; Philadelphia, PA; Everett, MA; Fort Myers, FL; Baton Rouge, LA; and other officials from the Gulf Coast states. The mayors visited the Laffite, LA Emergency Operations Command Center, where they participated in a briefing by Lafitte Mayor Tim Kerner, BP representatives and Coast Guard Incident Commander Captain Roger Laferriere, followed by a tour to view the damaged area by boat. Mayors discussed federal Fair Share Legislation that would share funds from new oil and gas leases with the four Gulf energy-producing states for the purpose of coastal protection and restoration.
Last week, the U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution on the oil disaster, requesting the Obama Administration to create a special task force of appropriate senior federal officials to direct the actions of all the federal agencies involved, provide timely and updated information to mayors and local officials on mitigation efforts, and ensure that lead federal agencies are working closely with cities and local governments.
Mayor Schneider said, “This is not only a Gulf crisis, it is an American disaster. As the mayor of a coastal community, especially with the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill still on the minds of our residents, I was saddened to see the damage the oil spill has created thus far. With the possibility of capping the oil well at least two months away, it is imperative that mayors across the country assist our colleagues in the Gulf Region in containing the spill, cleaning the coastline, protecting marine life, compensating the local businesses and fishery industry who have lost their livelihood, and then start the recovery efforts.”
Tagged: santa barbara, oil spill, gulf oil spill, mich landrieu, mayors, BP, british petrolium, gulf oil, baton rouge, houston tx, philadelphia, fair share legislation, coastal protection