From an article by Sam Stein on The Huffington Post:
The biggest problem facing Mississippi in the wake of a massive oil spill in the Gulf isn't tarred beaches or ecological waste, the state's governor Haley Barbour said on Sunday. It's the national press corps, which, he asserted, is inflating the disaster's current impact and, as a result, decimating the state's tourism industry.You look at these comments and wonder if this is what they truly believe, then why are they attacking the president for allegedly doing not enough? Also, Barbour stated that "250,000 to 750,000 barrels of oil seep into the Gulf of Mexico" each year. According to the US government, estimations are that up to 25,000 barrels of oil per day could be spilling out into the Gulf of Mexico. It has been almost 50 days since the explosion that caused this massive oil leakage, equating to 1,250,000 barrels of oil - more then what Governor Barbour states is the natural amount of oil that ends up in the oceans each year due to natural causes. Does Barbour, in his infinite wisdom, realize by his own admission, that more oil then what he believes is the natural annual limit has been poured into the ocean in almost 1/6th the time? I bet Barbour will be using his same fuzzy math come time for reelection...
In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, the Mississippi Republican veered as close as any elected politician could to insisting that the biggest oil spill in the history of this country had been overblown -- at least when it comes to his state.
"The truth is," he said, "we have had virtually no oil. If you were on the Mississippi Gulf coast anytime in the last 48 days you didn't see any oil at all. We have had a few tar balls but we have had tar balls every year, as a natural product of the Gulf of Mexico. 250,000 to 750,000 barrels of oil seep into the Gulf of Mexico through the floor every year. So, tar balls are no big deal. In fact, I read that Pensacola or the Florida beaches when they have tar balls yesterday didn't even close. They just sent people out to pick them up and throw them in the bag."
"The biggest negative impact for us has been the news coverage," Barbour added. "There has been no distinction between Grand Isle and Venice and all the places in Louisiana that we feel so terrible for that have had oil washing up on them. But to the average viewer [of] this show thinks that the whole coast from Florida to Texas is ankle-deep in oil. And of course, it's very, very bad for our tourist season. That is the real economic damage. Our first closure of fisheries in Mississippi waters came just earlier this week after about 45 days. So it may be hard for the viewer to understand, but the worst thing for us has been how our tourist season has been hurt by the misperception of what is going on down here. The Mississippi gulf coast is beautiful. As I tell people, the coast is clear. Come on down!"
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