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Parish president: 'We are being used' to promote alternative energy

By John King, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Parish president says 'we are being used'
  • Says White House has energy agenda
  • Calls for end to the drilling moratorium

Port Fouchon, Louisiana (CNN) -- A Louisiana parish leader who was shown around the world last week alongside President Obama as he visited the Gulf coast now tells CNN "we are being used" by the White House to promote its energy agenda.

"I think he has an agenda," LaFource Parish President Charlotte Randolph said in an interview Thursday. "And this is certainly working into his agenda. Right now we are the poster children for alternative energy. He can point to us and say this is why we need to move on to alternative energy."

Randolph spoke to CNN after an event at which she joined a host of Louisiana officials to criticize the administration's six month moratorium on deepwater offshore oil drilling.

"The other morning I heard he was looking for some butt to kick. What he doesn't realize is that he is kicking our butts right now," Randolph said. "We can recover from all the storms we have had in the past. We are managing the oil. We can't over come this overriding issue this moratorium now."

Randolph, who was with the president as he toured oil damaged coastal areas of her parish last week, said she shares the president's goal of shifting more and more to alternative energy sources.

"But we need to transition to it and its going to take a long time to get there," she said. "So lets be realistic and continue this process. ...Don't penalize the entire industry. Don't paint it with a broad brush and say everyone is evil out here. These people are my friends. These people are my neighbors. I know that they care about the environment. ... Be realistic about this. You're hurting people."

"Yeah, I think we are being used to push their agenda," she said.