Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Coffee and Oil

(Image from Inetours)

The BP oil gusher will have a lot of negative effects for the people, fisheries, and environment of the Gulf Coast, particularly Louisiana, which seems destined for suffering these days (see my recent Louisiana guest blog on Celebrating the States).

The economic impact will be great, and it will not be entirely absorbed by British Petroleum -- the oil industry made sure that its representatives in Congress put caps on its liability after the Exxon-Valdez spill.

In addition to the direct impacts on the shoreline, the interuption of shipping into and out of the Port of New Orleans will affect the availability and price of many products and commodities, tourism throughout the Gul that relies on cruise lines, and perhaps employment in exporting sectors.

More coffee reaches the U.S. through New Orleans than through any other port, and of course the 2,000 ships calling on the port each year bring -- and take -- many other vital commodities. So far, the port remains open at least through May 6, but predictions have not yet been made beyond that time.

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