St. Charles Herald-Guide

There’s new hope for state coming out of Washington

Our View - June 14, 2006

If Hurricane Katrina did anything good for this area, it was to make people in other parts of the country realize how the coast of Louisiana is washing away. Losing up to 50 square miles of land every year would make it non-existent within the century.

And this is the area where the fuel that powers our nation is produced. But most of the profits from that production go into the national treasury, never to return to the area from whence it came.

Now, however, Rep. Bobby Jindal reportedly has some 100 congressmen co-sponsoring a bill to give 75 percent of the oil revenue produced up to 10 miles out from the coast back to the state. This would amount to some $2 billion a year, which would allow us to preserve and restore our coast that keeps our engines running and also spawns most of the commercial fish in the nation.

In years past, when we thought we had some of the most powerful senators and congressmen in Washington, we had no chance to get any more of that oil revenue. All we could hope for was an occasional handout under the Breaux Bill, which has been far too little and too seldom.

If this new bill passes, we can start work on the best of the many projects spawned in the numerous studies that have been undertaken on how to save our coast. We can jump start the process of stabilizing south Louisiana, so the work that we do down here can go on.

Without those projects, our coast will soon wash away into the Gulf. It will no longer be there to protect other areas from hurricanes. And our nation will lose far more than the small amount of revenue it will give back from whence it came.