Dear Mr. President,
The Washington administration needs to understand that what has happened here is essentially a rural story. It has a deep history. For well over a century, food and fuel have been extracted from our land and waters by Louisiana’s hard-working families to feed and energize a nation only to be left with rusty pipes running through our swamps, channels cut through our marshes – left with the debris from corporations that marketed to our metro centers as our very land and livelihood disappears.
If the power of this rural story and its good peoples is not understood and honored then all the metro-centric policies will not be successful as a strategy that purports to re-vitalize the engines of society.
Our metro-centers can only revitalize our nation’s economies by being fed and fueled by the rural parts of America. There are no oil rigs in Times Square, nor wheat fields in Washington, DC.
It is the cattle in Nebraska’s sandhills, the fish from our waters, the fuel from our mountains and marshes – and, yes, our gulf that is the engine of America’s bounty and future. That must be honored by law, by proper compensation for the takings and by sustained stewardship.
With respect and hopefulness,
Southern Mutual Help Association, Inc.
Gulf Coast of Louisiana