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Scott Jagow: The Gulf Coast oil industry is right smack in the path of Hurricane Gustav. As of this morning, Gulf oil activity is almost nonexistent. If it stays down for any length of time, we could see oil prices shoot up 20 cents or more. Right now, oil’s at $117 a barrel. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita destroyed more than a hundred oil platforms in the Gulf. But oil companies say this time around, their platforms are far more storm resistant.
Of course, oil is just one industry vulnerable to Gustav. There are many businesses that still haven’t fully recovered from Katrina. Tish Williams heads the Chamber of Commerce in Hancock County, Mississippi.
Tish Williams: If you take what’s happening nationally with the retail marketplace and you add Katrina challenges on top of that, when you look at adding the storm, it’s not going to be easy.
Jagow: And don’t forget about insurance. Insurance costs have gone up 600 percent for some Gulf Coast companies.
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