On October 5, former president Bill Clinton visited Louisiana on a fact-finding tour and made these points among others:
- give rebuilding jobs to those affected, not out-of-state firms: For long-term work, Clinton said it's important to "hire people from Louisiana even if they have to be retrained."
- repeal the suspension of Davis-Bacon
- "We need to do something to try to recover the wetlands... We have let a lot of those wetlands go."
Previously: Bubba blasts Bush over Katrina, poverty, lack of omnipotenceÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
The House recently passed the GAS Act of 2005, which, cutely enough, stands for the "Gasoline for America's Security Act".
According to Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10), "the GAS Act of 2005 will cut red tape that prevents more refineries from being built. It would also improve infrastructure within the United States so that gas and diesel can get from the refinery to the customer quicker."
According to Kevin S. Curtis, senior vice president, National Environmental Trust, "The Gasoline for America's Security Act will do nothing to help consumers at the pump, increase our security or promote new energy technologies. This bill is nothing more than a shameless attempt to use Katrina and record high gas prices to push through legislation that was yanked out of the last energy bill."
See also "Speaker Hastert Weighs in on the Recently Passed Gasoline for America's Security Act", "Local Land Use Goes Out the Window in Proposed Oil Industry Bail Out, According to Officials from National League of Cities", and the background info here and here.
All of those sources suffer from various credibility problems, so hopefully more trustworthy sources can weigh in.
The NYT interviews a few interested parties in "Some Experts Say It's Time to Evacuate the Coast (for Good)".
"CBS Discounts Global Warming as Culprit, Notes Big Storms in Past" discusses how some CBS reporters claimed that global warming was the cause of recent major hurricanes, but how other CBS reports discounted that possibility.
It also offers the thoughts of Babs:
"We are in a global warming emergency state and these storms are going to become more frequent, more intense, there could be more droughts, dust bowls, you know it's amazing to hear these facts, I mean, the Andes have no ice caps on the mountains in winter. The glaciers are melting. I mean, for the United States not to be part of the Kyoto treaty is unforgivable."
The Clarion-Ledger has obtained a copy of an internal e-mail the U.S. Department of Justice sent out this week to various U.S. attorneys' offices: "Has your district defended any cases on behalf of the (U.S.) Army Corps of Engineers against claims brought by environmental groups seeking to block or otherwise impede the Corps work on the levees protecting New Orleans? If so, please describe the case and the outcome of the litigation."
...The Sierra Club and other environmental groups had nothing to do with the flooding that resulted from Hurricane Katrina that killed hundreds, [David Bookbinder, senior attorney for Sierra Club] said. "It's unfortunate that the Bush administration is trying to shift the blame to environmental groups. It doesn't surprise me at all."
...[Contrary to what the NRO article says,] The levees that broke causing New Orleans to flood weren't Mississippi River levees. They were levees that protected the city from Lake Pontchartrain levees on the other side of the city...
John Berlau from Sep. 8:
With all that has happened in the state, it's understandable that the Louisiana chapter of the Sierra Club may not have updated its website. But when its members get around to it, they may want to change the wording of one item in particular. The site brags that the group is "working to keep the Atchafalaya Basin," which adjoins the Mississippi River not far from New Orleans, "wet and wild."
These words may seem especially inappropriate after the breaking of the levee that caused the tragic events in New Orleans last week. But "wet and wild" has a larger significance in light of those events, and so does the group using the phrase. The national Sierra Club was one of several environmental groups who sued the Army Corps of Engineers to stop a 1996 plan to raise and fortify Mississippi River levees...
...The lawsuit was settled in 1997 with the Corps agreeing to hold off on some work while doing an additional two-year environmental impact study. Whether this delay directly affected the levees that broke in New Orleans is difficult to ascertain...
...The Bush administration's flood-control efforts were often relentlessly opposed by environmental groups, and this opposition was frequently echoed by liberal activists and in the press. Bush kept his promise, and his appointees at the Corps of Engineers have stopped the "spring rise" plan that concerned so many about flooding. Environmentalists launched a barrage of criticism and a series of lawsuits. This was also the case with Bush's moves to stop the Clinton administration's plans to breach the dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers in the northwest. Even though the dams greatly help to control flooding in the region, American Rivers blasted the administration for failing to do enough to save the sockeye salmon native to the region.
Ironically, among those criticizing Bush for his actions to prevent flooding of the Missouri River was the ever-present anti-Bush environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. He chastised Bush in 2004 for "managing the flow of the Missouri River." If, before Katrina, Bush had proceeded full-speed ahead and fortified the levees of the Mississippi for a Category 5 hurricane, Kennedy and others of his ilk would very likely have criticized Bush for trying to manage the natural flow of the Mississippi. And it's a good bet that many of the lefty bloggers now critical of Bush for not reinforcing the levees would have cited Bush's levee fortification as another way he was despoiling the natural environment.
I'm not going to go quite that far, but FPM says:
...Decades ago, the Green Left - pursuing its agenda of valuing wetlands and topographical "diversity" over human life - sued to prevent the Army Corps of Engineers from building floodgates that would have prevented significant flooding that resulted from Hurricane Katrina...
...The New Orleans Army Corps of Engineers and Professor Stone were not the only people cognizant of the consequences that could and did result because of the environmental activists. While speaking with Sean Hannity on his radio show on Labor Day, former Louisiana Congressman and Speaker of the House Bob Livingston also referred to environmentalists whose litigation prevented hurricane prevention projects...
...in 1977, a state environmentalist group known as Save Our Wetlands (SOWL) sued to have it stopped. SOWL stated the proposed Rigolets and Chef Menteur floodgates of the Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Prevention Project would have a negative effect on the area surrounding Lake Pontchartrain. Further, SOWL's recollection of this case demonstrates they considered this move the first step in a perfidious design to drain Lake Pontchartrain entirely and open the area to dreaded capitalist investment...