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Story Archives: All too typical
|All too typical|
It seems much of what the federal government does to protect us makes things worse and reaction to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill will most likely follow suit.
That's been the history and we've seen it replayed time and time again.
Take hurricane response — something we know a little about here in Louisiana.
In the past, there have been price controls enacted in Washington on things like gas and plywood prices following a hurricane.
It seems like a good idea until you go to the gas station and notice the shortages that price controls have caused. You are likely not to get the plywood you need at the hardware store, for the same reason.
As I write this, Gov. Bobby Jindal is desperately trying to convince the federal government to help him save our state's marshes and wetlands from the oil that washing into our shores, but has met with little success.
Jindal would like to build a chain of barrier island, essentially sand berms, in the Gulf of Mexico to blunt the oil's impact on Louisiana's fragile costal ecosystem.
Washington hasn't given the green-light yet.
They better hurry up, because we are running out of time to do something to save Louisiana's beleaguered coast.
The reason the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is balking on giving the go-ahead to the plan is because officials say there hasn't been sufficient time for an environmental impact study on building the islands.
Protecting the environment is important and landscaping in the Gulf is something that merit's careful study. Careful study, that is, when we have time to study something carefully — which usually means study it to death.
And death is what is could soon happen to our wetlands.
Right now, we can already witness the havoc oil that continues to gush from BP's ruptured deep-water well is having on Louisiana's environment and more is coming.
As Jindal said, each minute we waste is a minute that we have lost part of Louisiana's wetlands that we might never recover.
For his part, Jindal said he would soon build the islands even if he winds up in jail.
Since Edwin Edwards is scheduled to soon get out of federal prison, there will be a empty jail cell in Oakdale that's already accommodated a Louisiana governor.
BP, the multibillion dollar company which still hasn't been able to plug the leak, has weighed in with its two-cents on the barrier island plan.
Spokesman Tom Mueller said BP is unsure if the sand berms could be built quickly enough to make a difference and might not be as effective as Louisiana hopes.
More likely, BP is worried about additional lawsuits that could ensue should the purposed islands have unintended consequences.
I wonder if federal government is planning an environmental impact study on not building the islands?
The oil is going to end up somewhere. It doesn't take much common sense to realize that crude will be much more easily extracted from sand than it will the soupy, gumbo terrain of Louisiana's marshes.
Maybe common sense is the problem.
Much like plywood after a hurricane, it seems to be in short supply these days.