State of Louisiana Archives: on Environment


David Vitter: Coastal restoration with private funding

The four candidates discussed what they would do as governor to repair Louisiana's eroding coast. About 1,900 square miles of coast have eroded into the Gulf of Mexico since the 1930s. Each one backed a $50 billion, 50-year master plan--opposed by many fishermen--devised by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration to slow land loss by diverting the Mississippi River's mud and water into injured estuaries.

Vitter said diversions are "going to be the most difficult, the most controversial" aspects of the restoration plan. He added: "The possible negative impacts are very real." He added that "you have to measure and tweak projects as you go along."

The candidates predicted the eventual cost of coastal restoration would reach $100 billion. Vitter said he would seek to engage private companies, such as oil and gas companies, in spending more on the coast. Edwards and Dardenne offered similar ideas. Vitter also said he would work with other Gulf states to expand offshore drilling to bring in more funds.

Source: Associated Press on 2015 Louisiana gubernatorial debate Aug 19, 2015

Jay Dardenne: Coastal restoration with federal funding

The four candidates for governor each said fixing Louisiana's dire coastal land loss will require moving ahead with plans to divert Mississippi River water into disappearing estuaries. The candidates discussed what they would do as governor to repair Louisiana's eroding coast. Each one backed a $50 billion, 50-year master plan devised by Gov. Jindal's administration to slow land loss by diverting the Mississippi River's mud and water into injured estuaries. Fishermen oppose river diversions because they would alter water conditions and likely make it difficult, and perhaps impossible, to harvest shellfish where fresh water is flushed into estuaries.

Dardenne said he would campaign for more federal funding. "We need the assistance of America to make sure this program works," he said. "Everybody needs to know this is America's wetlands." Vitter said he would seek to engage private companies, such as oil and gas companies, in spending more on the coast. Edwards and Dardenne offered similar ideas.

Source: Associated Press on 2015 Louisiana gubernatorial debate Aug 19, 2015

John Bel Edwards: Mississippi River diversion: backbone to coastal restoration

The candidates discussed what they would do as governor to repair Louisiana's eroding coast. Each one backed a $50 billion, 50-year master plan devised by Gov. Jindal's administration to slow land loss by diverting the Mississippi River's mud and water into injured estuaries. The idea is to restore the river's delta-building capacity.

Fishermen oppose river diversions because they would alter water conditions and likely make it difficult to harvest shrimp, crabs and oysters where fresh water is flushed into estuaries.

"Simply put, diversions are the backbone" to coastal restoration, Edwards said. But he said projects need to be weighed against socio-economic factors.

The four candidates did not propose large-scale new mechanisms for funding the enterprise, even as candidates predicted the cost of coastal restoration would reach $100 billion. Edwards said he would seek to get the federal government to do more to fix Louisiana's problems. "This is a national priority," he said.

Source: Associated Press on 2015 Louisiana gubernatorial debate Aug 19, 2015

David Vitter: Drafted hurricane protection & flood control bill

Vitter's spokesman points to Vitter's work with Democrats & fellow Republicans to move legislation important to the nation and the state of Louisiana. He points to the Water Resources and Development Act (WRRDA) that he and liberal Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) drafted and passed with key hurricane protection, flood control and navigation provisions for Louisiana. Another example, he said, is the chemical safety bill he drafted with Democratic Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico, which recently cleared the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He also helped draft and win Senate passage, again with Boxer, of a long-term highway funding bill.

"David Vitter has always fought for Louisiana values and gotten things done," his spokesman said. "Passing major bipartisan bills like WRRDA, the flood insurance fix, and the Steve Gleason Act; holding agencies like the Corps and FEMA accountable--that's the Vitter record, and nobody can match it."

Source: Times-Picayune coverage of 2015 Louisiana Gubernatorial race May 29, 2015

Rob Maness: Reject Katrina aid bill if pork-laden with other projects

Rob Maness is clarifying an interview he gave to The Hill newspaper in which he said he would have voted against $60-billion aid package for Hurricane Katrina had he been in the Senate in 2005. Maness said he was asked about a Super Storm Sandy relief bill, he considered "pork-laden," and "a question was tagged on at the end about Hurricane Katrina relief."

"If I had been in Congress, I would have been as strong as any advocate for aid for the people of Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina." Maness wrote in an email. But he said he still would have voted no because unrelated expenditures were added to the 2005 disaster legislation. "I would have voted no on the pork-laden bill that included $50 million for an indoor rainforest in Iowa and other spending, and other pet projects," Maness said. "I would have been bold in press conferences denouncing anyone who opposed a clean bill to help the people of Louisiana instead of holding them hostage like the political class did.

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune on 2014 Louisiana Senate race Mar 10, 2014

David Vitter: Introduced bill to extend National Flood Insurance Program

Vitter introduced a bill that extends by a year the National Flood Insurance Program, which affects 500,000 home and business owners in Louisiana. The bill passed.

Vitter prides himself on pressuring federal agencies, such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to move on flood-prevention projects.

Source: Baton Rouge Advocate on of 2010 Louisiana Senate debate Oct 18, 2010

John Neely Kennedy: Wetlands will wash away before 2017 coastal protection

The candidates both supported increased domestic oil drilling and expansion of alternative sources of energy.

Landrieu said she was proud of expanding oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, with a large portion of the royalties going to help coastal protection efforts.

Kennedy responded by saying the state’s entire congressional delegation worked to pass the bill & much of the billions of dollars in royalties wouldn’t start flowing until 2017, after thousands more acres of wetlands had washed away

Source: 2008 Louisiana Senate Debate by Associated Press on NOLA.com Oct 16, 2008

  • The above quotations are from State of Louisiana Politicians: Archives.
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Page last updated: Dec 11, 2015