A total of 90 bands and musicians, including R.E.M., 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 a 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.
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, the musicians argued in their letter to the White House.
The five points outlined in 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, the letter suggested. Currently, Congress has not passed any legislation to respond to the BP drilling disaster.
“Long ago, Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region agreed to co-exist with big oil,” said musician Paul Sanchez. “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.”
Read the letter to the President…