Black gold, St. Bernard tea

I’ve often thought of what will become of the devastated and struggling St. Bernard Parish but a home for oil drilling hadn’t occured to me. From the Times Picayune

The St. Bernard Parish Council recently cleared the way for the oil exploration by agreeing to rezone 2.2 acres off West Judge Perez Drive from general commercial to heavy industrial conditional use.

Martin-Marks Operating Co. and Clovelly Oil Co. will search for the oil and gas on land owned by J & A Meraux Inc., a company owned by the Meraux Foundation.

The council included safeguards in its approval. Fencing and landscaping will be required. And if no oil or natural gas is found, the land will revert to its original zoning, parish officials said.

A similar proposal in 1992 drew a chorus of criticism from angry homeowners, and the council quickly nixed the plan. But things were different when developers asked again.

“Most of the people in that area have lost their homes,” said Councilman Mark Madary, who represents the area. “Most see this as an opportunity to get more money if the well is successful.”