- *Bigotry and name calling against American culture on sale at the Washington Post.
- 7.18.10, "Oil Spills. Poverty. Corruption. Why Louisiana is America's Petro-State," Washington Post, Steven Mufson
Cajun sheikdom's oil and gas riches -- like those of the Niger Delta, the Orinoco belt in Venezuela and the Iraqi marshes -- also stunted its development, leaving it far behind states with fewer natural resources.
According to the Census Bureau and Harvard University health data,
- Louisiana ranks 49th among the states in life expectancy,
- has the second-highest rate of infant mortality,
- comes in fourth in violent crime,
- ranks 46th in percentage of people older than 25 with college degrees,
- and ties for second in percentage of people living below the poverty line.
Oil riches didn't create these problems, of course, but it is striking that they didn't ameliorate them.
- "We've always been a plantation state," said Oliver Houck, an environmental law professor at Tulane University.
"What oil and gas did is replace the agricultural plantation culture with an oil and gas
Even though Louisiana's oil and gas production peaked in 1970 and many companies moved their offices to Houston, refineries, oil import facilities on the coast and a web of thousands of miles of pipelines continue to make the industry a powerful force in the state. It is embedded in Louisiana's mental and economic infrastructure, and remains one of its leading employers.
- The recent development of shale gas in the northern, poorer part of the state
- will bolster its influence even further.
All this explains why, even as the oil spill threatens Louisiana's tourism, fisheries and shoreline, local politicians have continued to speak up on behalf of continued offshore drilling. They and their state, are addicted to oil."...
- Not that it will matter, but a democrat from Virginia (Webb) says poverty and lack of advantage in the south can be traced to devastation incurred in the Civil War. The south was hurt badly and never recovered. (All governments have corruption so that isn't unique to the south. As many are aware, Senator Webb's actions do not agree with his words, but it was an interesting article. ed).