Friday, June 09, 2006

Sen. Landrieu's Washington Editorial.

Originally published in Washington 's "The Hill"New Orleans CityBusiness -- The Business Newspaper of Metropolitan New Orleans:
"perhaps the only way to address these national problems prudently.

First, it’s a matter of intelligent planning. For years the federal government has tried a piecemeal funding approach for levees, flood control and coastal protection, and it has failed dramatically. But if just half of the $6 billion to $8 billion in federal revenue generated each year by energy production on the Gulf’s Outer Continental Shelf were reinvested into protecting the coast it would provide the funding source we now lack.

Second, it is far less expensive for the federal government to prevent flooding than it is to deal with the damage after it occurs. To date, Congress and private insurers have directed more than $100 billion to post-hurricane rescue, relief, recovery, rebuilding and insurance claims — costs that in many, if not most, cases could have been avoided had the levees held and a more substantial wetlands system still flourished.

And third, it’s fair. Inshore states receive 50 percent of the royalties from minerals produced on federal lands with the help of their state infrastructure. Why shouldn’t Gulf Coast states receive the same share for providing the same support to production off their coasts? There is no fair, logical reason why they should not."

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