Garland Robinette's letter to President Obama

Mr. President welcome back.  We’re not sure how long we’ll be able to say you’re in the “Pelican State” or how soon we’ll have to call ourselves “Presidential Hopes Graveyard.”
      And hopefully, you’ll pardon us if we remain sitting, we’ve been on our knees for over five years and we’re really tired.
      I seem to remember that at one point you pushed the idea of “hope.“  I hope you have some left, because we’re almost out.  This message has nothing to do with Democrats and Republicans.  When your shrimp boat feels like its sinking partisanship seems childish at best.
      We also remember you saying….“words, just words“….and you were right.  We have proof.  Coast Guard representatives say they’re slow and dumb.  The Corp of Engineers is at it again, with never ending bureaucratic delays.  The EPA has no teeth.  They tell BP to stop using a dispersant that BP’s home country banned ten years ago.  BP says no.  Our governor and all the parish presidents along the coast keep saying “words,” but mostly in the form of questions…and nobody will respond.
      But, the operative words here are costs.  We recently learned that BP will have to pay royalties on the oil spill.  That certainly suggests that BP’s laughably low estimates of spilled oil were the byproduct of costs.  Supertankers worked in the Persian Gulf on a spill ten times larger than the Horizon leak.  Your commander-in-charge says our Gulf is too big for supertankers to be effective.  No footnote to back that up.  No studies.  No proof.  We know the real answer…costs.  There are many more examples that point towards a reluctance to foot the bill for a small, politically weak state. 
      Mr. President, with all due respect, we have absolute proof that you are either misinformed or not being truthful, when you say we are your first priority…..or to quote you directly…“we will do whatever it takes.“  Here is that proof.  No other state would be allowed to lose a football field of its land every 30 minutes.  If it occurred under Governor Schwarzeneger’s roof, you would be there with the world’s media in tow.  The same for Robert Kennedy Jr., in Hyannisport and Senator Nelson in Florida.  You could and would never reduce the 50% oil royalties for inland drilling that go to five states every year.  You would certainly never reduce them to less than 10% (like Louisiana)…we all know that would be political suicide.  You and Congress even have the audacity to promise us 37.5% in seven years….for what???  Beaches in Baton Rouge?  Senator Mary Landrieu is begging for that money now.  The tears and fears of thousands of seafood industry families and their children are begging you.  We hear you.  We hear silence. 
      Amazingly, we are told that giving us 50% would take too much from the federal treasury during a recession.  This only reinforces our proof of lies or incompetence or both.  How?  Common sense.  If taking out 50% is too much, if we are in a recession…if we need money so badly that we treat Louisiana as a non-American state, then simply take 40% away from the other 5 states and add it to the federal coffers.  Hello? Hello?  Ah… we see the proof.  We hear the proof.  We hear your silence.
      I was on C-SPAN for an hour this morning talking to the nation.  One of the callers twittered a response.  It said Louisiana is a state of constant “whiners.“  Mr. President, the idiot “twittered” on a cell phone.  A cell phone is only in existence because of the 30% of this country’s petroleum products that we provide.  He has never stepped away from his dogma to understand that much of his phone is a product of strip mining, forged by coal to put in his sad little hand.  Take his phone away and tell me. Can you hear him?  Can you hear him whine?
      Mr. President, you are presiding over a nation of see no evil, hear no evil, believe no facts…that contradict.  A nation that rails against petroleum, nuclear, coal, and shale oil, while playing musical chairs around the wind, solar, and biomass tree.  They’re humming loudly so they don’t hear that only 3% of our alternatives are viable and billions of dollars would only increase that to 10% in the next 10 to 20 years. (The words of scientists, not mine.) But, if you don’t believe me…please, just ask the rest of America one question.  What petroleum products would you volunteer to give up?  They refuse to see that we need a portfolio of every sovereign energy source available.  And when the musical chairs stop and those standing see nowhere to go to avoid—unaffordable utility bills, unaffordable gas bills, unaffordable food bills—who are they going to blame?  You.  The oil companies. The environmentalists.  The media.  Words…Mr. President…just words.  Words Americans can’t hear, because they’re dancing to the music of partisanship, dogma, and lack of education.  American’s Cajun two-step towards the Tower Of Babel.
      I’m sure you would agree, Mr. President, that there don’t seem to be many “absolutes” in the world of ours, but I have one for you.  First of all, in the statement that still angers our red-state audience…..I am a fan of yours.  I disagree with a whole lot of your decisions, but you seem to be a very intelligent, honest, caring man.  But my belief in you is being threatened.
      The fact of the matter is…in this case, I don’t believe you.  A smart, honest, caring man could not possibly ignore that we are being treated as a non-American state.  A man who leads this country, because of the civil rights movement that forced equality for all…could not possibly stand by and let one state take all the risks for America’s security both militarily and financially and not act to rectify the situation.
      I submit that I am not taking an admittedly complicated situation and over simplifying. It is perceived, sir, that you are simply using words, to reassure us long enough, for the next media frenzy to take the spotlight away. Just enough time for the lives of fishermen and their children to be destroyed.  Killing us softly. Killing us softly.  Perhaps not on purpose, but you have to know on some level, that if we were simply treated as the rest of the energy producing states…we could take care of ourselves.
      We will survive for quite a bit longer, but those who know history know that even the tough souls of the dust-bowl eventually had to admit defeat and leave their land, their life.
      We want to believe in equality.  We want to believe that we are Americans.  We want to believe we are not thought of as backwards and unable to help ourselves.  You remember those feelings don’t you, Mr. President?  Don’t you?
      We see only words.  Just words.  We hear only silence.  Just silence.

WWL

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