BP Oil Spill: Residents of Marrero, La., Share Their Frustration and Fears

"We're being invaded not by armies or tanks or ships and troops," but by "this oil that's going to do the same devastation, create the same problems," said Republican State Rep. Patrick Connick, who wants the federal government to cut through the bureaucracy to allow the state to build barriers to hold back the oil.

"It's going to wipe out our communities, wipe out the coast, wipe out the industry, wipe out our livelihoods. So we're going to fight it the best we can, we're not going to give up," Connick said.

There's frustration over the federal government, and frustration with BP, which has portrayed itself as an engaged and active part of the community. "They're leading everyone to believe that," said Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts.

VIDEO: Angered locals sound off at a town hall over financial impact of the oil spill.
Frustration Builds for Residents Over Oil Spill

But not all the residents agree with BP's public image, and some believe BP is holding the community back from attempting a more aggressive response to the oil.

"What's very frustrating is that yesterday, we saw oil rushing in from the Gulf of Mexico into the estuaries," said Roberts. "And there were boats just tied up that had all of the appropriate equipment to skim but were not being utilized.

"So, we basically commandeered those vessels and brought them out to areas to begin skimming up the oil," Roberts explained. "Because, had they been working and mobilized, then some of the areas that these folks make their living from would have been able to be salvaged."

"Surely BP wants to keep the oil from coming ashore," Sawyer asked the group.

"You would think that, but it's caught up in a bureaucratic process, worrying about litigation, worrying about 'is someone properly trained?'" said Roberts. "And it's very frustrating, because every hour we lose, the oil is coming further and further in."

"Where was their contingency plan?" asked another man. "If you're going to drill that deep, you have to have a plan."

Local Councilman: Feds Should Control the Coast

"Diane, we've been trying to convince the federal government that BP has its hands full," said John Young, another Jefferson Parish councilman. "The federal government needs to come in and say the fed, state and local governments are going to take care of protecting the coast, the wetlands and the marshes. BP's ultimately going to pay for it, but the federal government needs to come in."

For residents watching the oil come farther into Louisiana's waters, it can be hard to stay hopeful.

"I think we're watching this ... slowly die, and our coast slowly disappearing," said one woman.

"If we get a hurricane this year, it's going to push this stuff even farther in," said another woman. "It will never get fixed. It will affect our life, and our children and grandchildren."

Looking to God for Answers to Man-Made Problem

At this point, many at the town hall meeting said they believed that only God could provide the answers so desperately needed.

"What was the prayer here today?" Sawyer asked.

"We were praying for a solution," said one congregant. "God didn't make it, man made it. But we're asking him to help us in his mercy to find some solution."

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