Douglas Brinkley: Louisiana lacks influential environmental movement

Historians in the News

WASHINGTON -- Wednesday marks the first anniversary of the deadly blowout of the Macondo oil well, but there's another day of infamy for the Louisiana congressional delegation: May 27.

That was the day when President Barack Obama imposed a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling, which the state's lawmakers said was, from an economic standpoint, "worse than the spill itself."...

The problem in Louisiana, said Rice University historian Douglas Brinkley, who is writing a book on the history of the environmental movement, is that there is no countervailing political pressure in the state.

"I'm looking at all 50 states -- and the most abused ecosystem is this ragged boot of Louisiana," Brinkley said. But there has never been an effective environmental movement in Louisiana, he said, to call out the state's political leadership when it toes industry's line....

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