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Continued oil leak hurts Gulf businesses

Television satellite trucks occupy a closed beach on Grand Isle, La.

TEXT OF STORY

Bob Moon: Sorry to say there's been no break at all from that relentless catastrophe in the Gulf. Over the weekend, the last best hope to cap the BPs runaway well was declared a failure. And now, the oil giant has moved on to try another idea to funnel the sludge to the surface. But that approach won't do any more than contain the mess.
And it's now looking like the flow won't actually be stopped until August at the earliest when two relief wells are supposed to be finished. That dire news has people who make their living from the Gulf rethinking their plans for surviving the spill.

Marketplace's Nancy Marshall Genzer reports.


NANCY MARSHALL GENZER: Susan Gros is a Louisiana fishing guide. On a good day, she can make a thousand dollars. But now...

SUSAN GROS: Our business -- our fishing business -- is completely zero.

Gros says all of her tours this summer have been canceled.

GROS: I still have a couple of trips booked for October. The guys are just hanging on.

Gros is hanging on, too, living off of her savings. And, just in case those guys booked for October cancel? She's looking for a job. Waitressing, maybe.

Buggie Vegas is also scraping together a plan B. He owns Bridge Side Marina in Grand Isle, La. Normally on Memorial Day, the beach would be clogged with sunbathers. But the only people around now are workers cleaning up the oil. Vegas is thinking about turning his marina into a hardware store. When the oil workers come to the marina's restaurant, Vegas asks them: What supplies do you need?

BUGGY VEGAS: I said, man, I could do it. Whatever you all need, we could get it in here. Lose a pair of gloves or a hat or whatever, shackles -- whatever it takes.

Whatever it takes is also John Williams's mantra. Williams heads the Southern Shrimp Alliance. He's meeting with Washington lobbyists and lawyers tomorrow to put together his contingency plan.

JOHN WILLIAMS: We've going to hash over every issue that's facing the shrimp industry with respect to the oil spill and try to come up with something that we can help our members and the industry also.

That could include suing BP. Something Williams had ruled out -- until now.

In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

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