Blog by Guest Blogger: Cherri Foytlin, Gulf Coast Mother of 6, and State Director, Bold Louisiana.
This week, central and southwestern Louisiana have been slammed by unprecedented floods. Over the weekend, I watched heavy rains pour down on my community and my own home sink into rising waters.
Across the region, tens of thousands of people have been evacuated, thousands of homes damaged, and at at least eleven people killed. This fills my heart with both a deep sadness and deep anger — at the fossil fuel companies driving this ongoing crisis, and at an Administration that continues to sell them the right to do so.
Next Wednesday, on August 24th, the Obama administration is planning to sell off an area the size of Virginia for offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
We need to keep fossil fuels in the ground and stop treating the Gulf Coast like a sacrifice zone.
Offshore drilling endangers both the people of the Gulf and the climate we depend on. In the midst of this climate-driven disaster, moving forward with this auction is unconscionable. Doing it at the New Orleans Superdome — the site of one of the most visible and tragic instances of climate injustice in recent history — is nothing short of insulting.
We’ve been organizing and resisting for decades here on the Gulf Coast, but right now, we need to come together as a movement and support both the organizing and the relief efforts that are underway on the ground. Like all climate crises, this flood will most gravely impact the already marginalized in our society — poor people, people of color, the elderly. You can make a donation to support disaster relief and recovery here.
This climate event is being called a “1,000 year flood” and a “truly historic event,” and according to the Red Cross, it’s the worst U.S. disaster since Superstorm Sandy.1 This type of storm is far from normal — but it could become normal if we don’t act now. This auction would enable the fossil fuel industry to do more of the very thing that is intensifying these floods in the first place.
No more business as usual. My beloved Gulf coast is not for sale.