Rocky Kistner's blog

Just a week after the anniversary of the nation’s greatest oil disaster, Congress is set to vote on legislation to open up virtually all federal waters to drilling, while cutting governmental oversight and safety measures at the same time.

That’s sort of like telling the designer of the Titanic to forget about the icebergs and just build more ships. Full speed ahead!

More than 60 miles north of the flashy beach casinos of Biloxi, MS, you come to a place where the earth turns to reddish clay and the lush green fields are stripped of their timber. It’s a place where locals struggle with high unemployment in the most poverty stricken state in the country. The lifespan of an African American born today in Mississippi is the same as an average American in 1960.

The anniversary of the country’s worst oil disaster came and went last week. There was a brief frenzy of media attention, a litany of speeches and promises by politicians, and emotional memorials  in honor of the 11 men who died in the Deepwater Horizon’s fiery explosion a year ago.

But for many in the Gulf struggling to regain their livelihoods, life is far from normal, the future far from certain. Even though one-year anniversaries are great for bringing people together to share their stories, their grieving and their hopes, it hasn’t stopped the dying.


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