One of my suggestions was about the oil spill:
He needs to develop a consistent and sound policy about the disaster on the
Gulf Coast. This will be a major focus of the next governor's term, and Sparks
can tie his plan for saving the coast with his successful promotion of
international trade, particularly with Cuba, without "politicizing" the
Sparks listened. Or maybe he's just already on top of things. As Agriculture Commissioner, he has an interest and a responsibility in dealing with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and its effect on Alabama.
He wrote a letter to President Obama before the president's latest visit to our state, outlining the devastation that is taking place on our coast and the ways Alabama workers and families are being affected. He also pointed out several of BP's inadequacies in their response, and he listed several items that would enhance BP's payments of claims. Finally he recommended the appointment of Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy and former governor of Mississippi, to head a task force in the region.
He got tough with the President:
Mr. President, with the economic livelihood and emotional well-being of
thousands of Alabamians already being affected – and with more devastation
to come -- we have no choice but to demand that you take clear and concrete
action to address BP’s ineffectual and deficient response to the Deepwater
Horizon Oil Spill.
Then the President visited. And later gave his first Oval Office Speech.
Sparks responded to that as well:
I am heartened by President Obama’s remarks tonight, particularly the
appointment of Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus to head up an unprecedented
program for the recovery of the Gulf Coast states. Yesterday, I met with
President Obama and I handed him a letter requesting greater speed and
efficiency for paying claims to Gulf Coast residents and asking for the
appointment of Secretary of the Navy Mabus to oversee clean-up operations. I
want to thank President Obama for his leadership in coming down to the Gulf
Coast and listening to state and local officials and the people on the ground.
There's no doubt in my mind that by the President coming down to the Gulf Coast
and seeing the hurt and the pain of the people here that I feel confident help
is on the way.
Sparks had already shown his concern and his resolve in dealing with the tragedy, having said this when the oil first began reaching Alabama shores:
“The catastrophe has begun. Photos of oil on Gulf Shores' beaches
make me sick and I fear this is the beginning destruction of a way of life in
south Alabama. I pledge with every ounce of the fight in me, I will make
BP pay for all damage they do to our state. And they will not stop paying
until our state, our beaches, our wildlife and our seafood industry are made
We need a governor who is on top of things, who knows the industries (remember, Ron Sparks, as Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, has his name on every gas pump in our state), and who can work with the President and federal authorities and not against them in the recovery effort.
We need Ron Sparks as governor.
So, what's going on at the beach?
Everyday, Bruce at the Beach posts a video from Orange Beach. Yesterday he posted this one about a sea turtle who laid her eggs and what was done so save them from the beach activity. Notice, though, that the sands are still sugar white and the water that inviting pale green color. Who's up for a visit to the Gulf Coast?