Monday, May 14, 2007

If You Blog About New Orleans or South Louisiana,

You should link to Our Coast to Fix -- or Lose, John Barry's list of six reasons why coastal restoration is in the national interest that appeared in Saturday's Washington Post. I'm not sure how much attention Saturday columns generally receive, but I know that I wouldn't have seen it if Maitri hadn't written about it.

Like he did in last year's USA Today piece, Barry points out that:
The nation as a whole gets nearly all the benefits of engineering the river. Louisiana and some of coastal Mississippi get 100 percent of the costs.

However, one thing has changed since Bary wrote the earlier column:
Despite all this and President Bush's pledge from New Orleans in September 2005 that "we will do what it takes" to help people rebuild, a draft White House cuts its own recommendation of $2 billion for coastal restoration to $1 billion while calling for an increase in the state's contribution from the usual 35 percent to 50 percent.

I imagine that a Bush defender would say that state officials said that wth an offshore revenue deal, we could pay for restoration. In fact, Louisiana officials said that with an equitable share, the state could finance restoration by itself. The fact is that the recently passed revenue sharing bill isn't nearly enough for the state for the state to pick up the tab for coastal restoration:
As it turned out, the deal approved by Congress after a marathon day of negotiations Friday would steer the same percentage to four Gulf Coast states from newly authorized offshore energy drilling. For Louisiana, it is projected to mean $200 million through 2017 and some $650 million annually thereafter as revenue sharing expands throughout the Gulf of Mexico.

But is it equitable?
While inland states enjoy 50 percent of the tax revenue from drilling on their federal lands, Louisiana gets back a mere $35 million of the $5 billion it contributes to the federal treasury each year from offshore drilling, or less than one percent

For example, in 1997, the state of Wyoming hosted development of Federal mineral resources that generated more than $569 million in revenues. Wyoming received $239 million for its share of revenues produced on Federal lands. In the same year, Louisiana hosted development of Federal mineral resources offshore that generated more than $3.8 BILLION, and received only $18.2 million for its share of the revenues produced in Federal offshore waters.

Decide for yourself:
Distribution of revenues associated with onshore federal lands is split 50-40-10, with 50 percent of the money going directly to the state within which the specific lease was located. Forty percent is sent to the Reclamation Fund of the U.S. Treasury. This special account finances the Bureau of Reclamation's water projects in 17 western states. The remaining 10 percent goes to the Treasury's General Fund. (From da po'blog)

cross-posted at The Katrinacrat Blog

This is the type of stuff you need to cross post at my place. I don't always get the time to do the local stuff, so this needs to be out there. Keeping up gets to be hard at times, with operating more than one blog and writing and moderating for a large blog. All you have to do is copy and paste and the regulars will take it from there.
Excellent except for the part about "Each land mile over which a hurricane travels absorbs roughly a foot of strom surge."

This has never been scientifically established--it's just a rumor.

The best analysis I've seen estimates 3 inches per mile.


Meant to do that last night Donnie. I was going to try to add on a criticism of Jindal, but realized it could just as easily apply to Landrieu. When I gave up on posting a slightly different version at Katrinacrat, I went to bed -- forgetting all about the cross posting.

Tim, I more or less agree with you, but we do want to state the case as strongly as possible, provided it doesn't get dishonest. I wouldn't center the argument around storm surge alone.
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