Bonds will help coastal restoration

At last we are beginning to get some action on the possibility of selling bonds to help finance Louisiana’s desperately needed coastal restoration.

Our Coastal Protection and Restoration Financing Corporation has asked the State Bond Commission to determine how it will hire contractors to handle the bond issuance.

The bonds will be paid off by Louisiana’s 30 percent share of money received from offshore energy operations in the Gulf of Mexico starting in the year 2017. Since that is many years away and much of our coast will be long gone by then if we wait to restore it, we need the money now which is the purpose of bond issues.

The federal government gave Gulf coast states the larger percentage of revenue derived from new production in the Gulf just recently but that new production will not start paying off in money until 2017. Louisiana is expected to get some $80 million to $150 million a year at first and up to $300 million a year by 2025. This will go a long way toward paying the state’s share in that restoration.

When the bond money starts coming in, we can all breathe a sigh of relief that maybe our state can save our valuable coastline. The Obama administration has also indicated it wants to push forward federal efforts and financing in doing the job.

With these two prospective developments, the future of Louisiana’s coast is looking better. We just have to do it before the tidal waters of the Gulf come past the point of no return.


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