Musicians Send Letter to White House Urging Action to Restore the Gulf of Mexico
New Orleans, LA – Local musicians playing at the recent Voodoo Experience music festival joined national recording artists to support the restoration of the Gulf Coast, as well as the communities which rely upon a healthy Gulf for their economy and way of life. After nearly 7 months, the BP deepwater drilling disaster is on-going, and will have lasting impacts. The Gulf region needs sustained and lasting support to get back on its feet.
“Help the people here!” said an outraged Dr. John, a long-time wetlands advocate and 5-time Grammy award-winning musician, “you’ve destroyed all our wetlands, you’ve destroyed all of our way of life!”
A total of 90 bands and musicians, including REM, Ozzy Osbourne, My Morning Jacket, Pearl Jam, Bonnie Raitt, OK Go, Rise Against, Tab Benoit, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the New Orleans Bingo! Show, Galactic and more, added their support to the letter sent to the White House that urged the President to do all he can to ensure the survival of a region that has played a unique role in creating the musical sounds of our country.
“Long ago, Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region agreed to co-exist with big oil,” said musician Paul Sanchez, of Paul Sanchez and the Rolling Roadshow, formerly with Cowboy Mouth, “But co-exist means we cooperate, means there’s accountability, means there’s transparency, means that when something does go terribly, terribly wrong, they step up, and they answer for it. If you want to continue to use our Gulf coast region to fuel the nation, and fuel the world, then help us stay alive.”
“BP step their game up, government step their game up,“ said trombonist and band-leader Sam Williams with Big Sam’s Funky Nation, “Let’s get to the bottom of this and save our coast.”
The five points outlined on the letter included a call for a significant portion of BP’s fines and penalties to be directed to Gulf coast recovery, and for the creation of a citizens’ advisory council to allow affected communities more input on oil industry activities in the region. These are two issues that Congress can support now in their lame-duck session. Currently, Congress has not passed any legislation to respond to the BP drilling disaster.
The video news release of the Voodoo press conference featuring Dr. John and others is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeG9WnMrIFg
Photos from the press conference are available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/healthygulf/sets/72157625298712188/
Read the letter to the President at: http://www.healthygulf.org/files_reports/BP_Drilling_Disaster/musicians%20letter%20on%20BP%20disaster.pdf
Add your voice to the call for the Gulf coast at http://bpdrillingdisaster.org