May 29, 2012
LAFAYETTE, La. – Visitors to this oil town might be forgiven for wondering whether the BP oil spill and subsequent drilling moratorium ever happened. “Now hiring” signs are plastered on billboards around town, and hotels such as the Crowne Plaza are chock-full of seminars training students to work on offshore rigs. Many offshore companies can’t find enough workers for the jobs they’re listing. This parish has the lowest unemployment rate in Louisiana, 4.8 percent.
“They’re not that far apart,” said Cindy Rugeley, an assistant professor of politics at Texas Tech University. “Both of them agree that there should be some degree of drilling offshore.”