Former senior adviser for George W. Bush and political strategist Karl Rove told Louisiana business people this week in Baton Rouge that Gov. Bobby Jindal could be a serious candidate for higher office, president, if he chooses to run.
Rove was the keynote speaker at the the annual meeting of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) where he praised Jindal and the oil and gas industry, including Louisiana fracking.
"I think if he wants to be a candidate he could be a really serious one," said Rove about Jindal on Tuesday. "He's doing a lot of things here, particularly on education reform and government reform that could translate well on the national stage."
Residents in at least one oil-cursed Louisiana parish have described Jindal differently, "MIA."
Louisiana's historic sinkhole disaster area residents outraged over Jindal's inhumane treatment
For months, Bayou Corne residents, evacuated due to the oil and gas imploding swampland disaster beneath their homes and in their backyards, have been expressing outrage that Jindal declared a state of emergency and a mandatory evacuation there, but has never visited them or the area under siege by the ever-expanding giant "sinkhole" only 50 miles from Baton Rouge.
The "sinkhole," a collapsing 1-mile by 3-mile salt dome oil and gas industry storage facility, is expanding into a lake. It is filled with salt water and hydrocarbons with traces of hydrogen sulfide and radioactivity.
The center of the collapsing Napoleonville Salt Dome is south of La. 70. It is east of Grand Bayou and Bayou Corne.
The Grand Bayou and Bayou Corne communities are both on top of the dome that stores pressurized oil- and gas-related chemicals.
The historic Louisiana sinkhole now expands over eight and a half acres. Experts anticipate it growing to the size of 30 football fields.
An explosion is possible in the sinkhole area. People are suffering symptoms of poisoning related to crude that is continuing to leak out. Some of those people reside further from the disaster site, outside the mandatory evacuation zone.
"I think that I drink from the same aquifer. I breathe the same air. We share the same environment -- the ecosystem," said Belle River Malic Chavez, a commercial fisherman residing in nearby Belle River. "I am a community resident of Assumption Parish… We all are at risk."
After four months of some 300 people forced out of their homes due to the oil and gas disaster but never seeing Jindal visit there, in December, Assumption Parish residents, led by a local rights defender Alicia Heilig, demanded that Jindal attend one of the sinkhole disaster meetings.
"I believe its time that the governor hear our concerns in person," Heilig wrote. "He has not been here once to see this disaster for himself or show the people he is elected to represent that he is 'here' for us."
"We would like to see our governor," Bayou Corne property owner John Achee said. "Where has he been since all this has started? I mean this has been going on for six months. People have been evacuated for four months. We haven't seen the governor. We haven't heard from him. It's like a circus without a ring leader literally."
Jindal was not present at that meeting or any of the other disaster briefings their.
Now, in absence of their governor or his demonstration for concern about their safety and welfare, frustrated citizens impacted by this latest oil and gas disaster in Louisiana are appealing to President Barack Obama to declare the area a federal disaster.
"There is no light at the end of the tunnel for when [we] can return home, or have any kind of closure from this nightmare," the petition reads. "This is not just a hole in the ground, and requires more resources than the state has at their disposal."
At Tuesday's annual business and industry meeting in Baton Rouge, "Rove also praised the oil and gas industry, making direct reference to fracking projects in Pennsylvania and Louisiana's Haynesville Shale gas play," reported the Times Picayune.
Deborah Dupré is author of "Vampire of Macondo," packed with censored stories about the BP-wrecked Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico that continues causing catastrophic human and environmental devastation.
See the "Vampire of Macondo" book trailer, "First book to reveal BP Gulf Oil Human Rights Abuses."
Follow Dupré on Twitter @DeborahDupre. For radio and television interviews, email firstname.lastname@example.org.