L’ OBservateur’s ONLINE POLL

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 19, 2010

By David Vitrano


LAPLACE – With oil continuing to spew from the site of last month’s Deepwater Horizon explosion, the question is no longer whether the oil will reach the Louisiana coast but what effect it will have when it does.

The disaster could deal a severe blow to the state economy by crippling two of its main industries — seafood and oil and gas production. Furthermore, the state’s third major industry — tourism — could also be dealt a significant blow in the future.

As such, last week L’Observateur asked its readers what they thought the most likely result of the disaster will be.

Seafood turned out to be respondents’ greatest concern with over one-third choosing the depletion of seafood as their number one concern.

Each garnering over 20 percent of the votes, two somewhat related options also gave L’Observateur’s readers some worry. Oil destroying the coastal wetlands and the possibility of a hurricane pushing the oil far onshore were both the second-most popular option with readers.

While less than 10 percent of voters were concerned about a surge in gas prices, 15 percent thought the media was making too much of the incident.

A full breakdown of results follows:

• 21 percent of respondents chose “Oil will infect the coastal wetlands and kill off the valuable barrier.”

• 34 percent of respondents chose “Drastic depletion of sea life will cripple a valuable part of the Louisiana economy.”

• 9 percent of respondents chose “Continued loss of oil will lead to a surge in gas prices.”

• 21 percent of respondents chose “A hurricane threatening the Gulf Coast will push polluted water farther inland.”

• 15 percent of respondents chose “The effects will be minimal. The media is blowing things out of proportion.”

This week’s question: The oil spill has made many in the country reconsider their dependence on oil and gas. What sacrifices would you be willing to make to reduce oil consumption?

Visit www.lobservateur.com to vote.