Thursday, May 17, 2007

Payback is now

Our Coast, to Fix or Lose

This is John Barry's article in May 12th WaPo where he argues that fixing the Louisiana coast benefits the WHOLE NATION.

Hey, all you nay sayers, all you NIMBYs, all your people out there who think Louisianians are idiots for living here: WAKE UP!!! All these years you have benefitted from the raping of the Louisiana coast. Payback is now. Do yourself a favor and educate yourself by reading Mr. Barry's article.

Here's an excerpt:

.... Eastern New Orleans (including the lower Ninth Ward) and St. Bernard Parish -- nearly all of which, incidentally, is at or above sea level -- exemplify this allocation of costs and benefits. Three man-made shipping canals pass through them, creating almost no jobs there but benefiting commerce throughout the country. Yet nearly all the 175,000 people living there saw their homes flooded not because of any natural vulnerability but because of levee breaks.....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. Generating benefits to the nation is what created the problem, and the nation needs to solve it. Put simply: Why should a cab driver in Pittsburgh or Tulsa pay to fix Louisiana's coast? Because he gets a stronger economy and lower energy costs from it, and because his benefits created the problem. The failure of Congress and the president to act aggressively to repair the coastline at the mouth of the Mississippi River could threaten the economic vitality of the nation. Louisiana, one of the poorest states, can no longer afford to underwrite benefits for the rest of the nation.

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