Wetlands group sees potential from incoming Obama administration

From the Gannet News Service:

America’s Energy Coast released recommendations Tuesday to curtail eroding wetlands in Louisiana and three other Gulf states, and one sought pursuing money for infrastructure projects. President-elect Barack Obama and Congress have talked about drafting stimulus packages over the coming weeks to bolster the weak economy that could cost more than $500 billion.

Louisiana’s Highway 1, the only road to that stretches to Port Fourchon and its energy infrastructure, is in drastic need of an upgrade, said Sam Giberga, general counsel at Hornbeck Offshore Services. That would provide jobs and aid the nation’s energy industry, he said.

“I don’t think you can spend that kind of money and ignore this coast,” he said.

America’s Energy Coast – a group representing oil companies, environmentalists and government officials that want to prevent wetlands erosion – released a framework of priorities that include making restoration of wildlife habitats a national imperative, securing domestic energy production and sustaining environmental infrastructure.

Though it’s debatable where this group’s intentions actually lie, getting the federal government on board for Wetlands protection will certainly help.  The test is whether these Energy Producers are willing to admit to their responsibility for the state of the Wetlands, and whether they intend to contribute more than lobbying efforts and PR campaigns.

Among the group’s proposals:

  • Working toward restoring the Mississippi River to its delta to enhance the sustainability of southeast Louisiana.
  • Pursuing funding for land, harbor and waterway infrastructure projects.
  • Calling for a working group of federal agencies with jurisdiction over water resources to streamline project permits.
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    ~ by vermilionaire on December 4, 2008.

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