Sierra Club Productions
Sierra Club Chronicles
Episode 6: Storm In The Gulf
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About this Episode
When a powerful politician paved the way for the drilling of oil and gas in the Gulf Islands National Seashore, he did not expect opposition from a coalition of unlikely environmentalists who prefer a lasting tourist trade and pristine beach to temporary gain.
The Gulf Islands National Seashore is a thin necklace of pristine barrier islands off the coast of Mississippi. But through a manipulation of the recently passed Energy Bill, a clandestine clause in the Patriot act, and old fashion quid pro quo money politics, Republican Governor (and former RNC Chairman) Haley Barbour has paved the way for oil and to start drilling under this national park.
What he hadn't planned on was opposition by a coalition of unlikely environmentalist that include a patrician Southern woman (and lifelong Republican) who's family donated part an island to establish this Park, and third generation oyster fisher, and a National Park Ranger who's risking his career to speak out.
These are just a few of the growing hundreds of Mississippi coast dwellers who have banded together to expose and shame Governor Barbour for selling the states most valued natural treasure to oil and natural gas companies for a series of campaign contributions and under the guise of national security and responsible energy policy.
As our cameras were there filming this episode, the Category 5 hurricane Katrina was within days of hitting the Gulf Coast forcing us to pull out. We returned to find massive devastation of land and property but the people were resilient. In fact, the destruction could have been much, much worse proving that the coalition and everything they said was right on target. Now, their fight goes on as they rebuild their homes and continue to protect the islands.