Energy

Oil Is Washing Up in Louisiana—Again

| Tue Mar. 22, 2011 2:54 PM EDT

For the last several days, oil from a 30-mile slick has been washing up in the highly appetizing forms of "emulsified oil, oil mousse, and tar balls" on beaches in southeastern Louisiana including Grand Isle, where I spent last summer covering the BP oil spill. Local officials and the Coast Guard are investigating the source. Meanwhile, yesterday the government approved the first deepwater exploration plan since BP's massive blowout last year. Earlier this month, it also approved the first deepwater drilling permit since the post-Deepwater moratorium. Both permits are for an area where there's already so much oil-production activity that when a 30-mile oil spill appears, no one can tell where it came from.

I'm headed back to Louisiana later this week to report the voices of spill victims a year after the BP disaster. Until then, you can get a feel for the sentiments my Southern friends have been expressing to me lately in a January video of Plaquemines Parish president Billy Nungesser swearing at a Coast Guard official. Even before this new spill started coming ashore, BP's oil was still recently making landfall without adequate protections in place. The famously outspoken Louisiana politician sums it up pretty well when he says, "That is BULLSHIT."