BP’s oil drilling disaster has made it clear that, in the case of the oil and gas industry, Gulf residents don’t have much say on some very big decisions about the health of our coast and communities. For too long, large oil and gas corporations and the government have been the only one who have a say in how the Gulf’s energy is managed. Right now, we have a chance to change that.As I write this, Congress is considering legislation that could have a huge impact on the Gulf’s future, so now is the time for you to weigh-in and tell your representatives that Gulf residents must have a seat at the table when it comes to ongoing oil and gas development in the Gulf. BP’s drilling disaster might be the biggest man-made disaster in US history, but the Gulf coast has long been a national sacrifice zone for oil and gas development. In fact, 40-60% of Louisiana’s wetlands loss can be attributed to oil and gas activity, and the industry has spilled an average of over 238,000 gallons of oil into federal waters in the Gulf every year for the last ten years! Now, families that have spent generations working the water trawling for shrimp, or harvesting oysters, suddenly find their entire way of life put on hold, and perhaps forever altered, by BP’s crude.To ensure that our communities are made whole, and never experience a calamity like this again, Congress needs to quickly establish a citizens’ advisory council to watchdog oil and gas development in the Gulf. Click here to send your Congressperson a fax urging them to give Gulf residents the voice they so desperately need:http://action.healthygulf.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=4459After Exxon-Valdez, Congress quickly moved to establish similar citizens’ councils in Alaska. These councils have provided citizens and representatives from the fishing industry, tourism, the conservation community, and other interests the tools they need to work with the oil industry and the government to improve environmental safeguards and protect their coasts.It’s only fair that Gulf communities have the same opportunity as Alaskans to take part in major decisions impacting the health of the region. Please click here to send your fax to Congress.