A Nurse with a Gun

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Blanco Making a Bold Move?

Blanco’s Bold Move is Coast’s Only Hope

If you’re a Louisiana resident, George W. Bush is the worst president you’ve ever had. Jimmy Carter was bad, but at least he was an equal-opportunity disaster. The malaise he induced was divvied among the states equally. But Bush seems especially inclined to put the screws to the Bayou State. The fact that he barely mentioned the worse natural disaster to ever befall America in his State of the Union speech was very telling. Even our state’s Republican leaders couldn’t help gnashing their teeth after that one. And to make matters exponentially worse, Bush is serving at a time when Louisiana has its worst governor in history.

Every time I watch Blanco speak, I’m utterly amazed she was ever elected to any political office, much less the highest seat in our state. No wonder our fellow Americans are reluctant to fork over enough coins for us to stand on to climb out of the gaping hole last season’s hurricanes hurled us into. They must figure if Blanco is the best we can offer, we’re obviously a state of idiots and buffoons. That being the case, they’re probably comfortable diluting the citizens of our great state throughout the country, and removing one star from Old Glory. It’s now impossible to ignore that as long as Bush is in the White House, Louisiana will have to scratch and claw for her very existence.

Some might think that’s overstated. It isn’t.

Even Gov. Blanco, who at times seems simpler and more unassuming than Forrest Gump, recognized this. It was obvious last month, when the governor finally bore her fangs. Well, at least she threatened to.

In a letter to the Minerals Management Service, Blanco hinted that she might refuse to sign any leases for future oil and gas drilling off the Louisiana coast, a position called for in this column in December. Such an action would be painful in Louisiana. So much of our economy depends on the dollars generated by the oil industry – from the grunts on the platforms to the white-collared engineers who design them. But for too long, our nation has helped itself to Louisiana’s oil while leaving us with nothing but environmental scars and flooded cities to show its gratitude. Louisiana’s residents should live like the sheiks of Saudi Arabia, but instead, we more resemble the inland natives of South America.

Our political leaders – Sens. David Vitter and Mary Landrieu primarily – have pushed hard in recent months for Louisiana to receive a portion of the $6 billion in tax money generated from the oil and gas drilled off our coast. This is essential because Louisiana needs a consistent revenue stream if we’re ever going to begin the large-scale projects it’ll take to restore our coast and protect us from future Katrinas. If we get the money in drips and drabs, we’ll fund bunches of small projects that won’t have near the impact of something like the Third Delta Conveyance Channel.

But the White House has smiled at our senators while building a brick wall in their path. Louisiana continues to receive only 27 percent of the taxes for oil drilled from 3 to 6 miles off our coast – nothing for oil drilled more than 6 miles away – while Texas gets 100 percent of the tax dollars generated from oil drilled up to 9 miles off its coast. In 2005, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming all made more in tax dollars for oil extracted from federal property than Louisiana. That’s disgusting, and it needs to change. Now.

Todd Mason
The Louisiana Sportsman
Thus far, the only bold moves I remember Kat Blanco making are............

Ah hell, there aren't any examples. Hopefully she will grow a pair and refuse to sign these leases. Louisiana is sick and tired of being sucked dry while Texans grow fat.

Hattip to The Conservative Cajun

15 Comments:

Blogger Nick said...

Thanks for the plug. I did a follow-up post this morning due to a question from a reader about the whole process.

In reality, Gov. Blanco really can't block any federal lease sales. The process of the governor giving approval is almost a tradition of good will between the feds. and the state.

There is a current bill on the table that was introduced by Bobby Jindal. I explained it in the follow-up today and even told of my experience talking to Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) about the bill yesterday. I think Jindal and Louisiana has a real shot at this!

4:10 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Also, Blanco has made bold moves in standing up to both Bob Odom and Tom Benson. Unfortunately, though, she appears to be trying to make buddy-buddy again with Odom by approving his proposal for the state to fund, build, and run a rice mill.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Windaria said...

Then again, the reason that the residents resemble the "inland natives of South America" is because they vote in INSANELY corrupt and incompetent politicians that, strangely enough, also resemble the politicians that rule over the "inland natives of South America".

Go figure.

But yes, so long as I see Blanco and Nagin in office, my level of sympathy really isn't that high for the residents of Louisiana because, well, they brought it on themselves.

(That said, we here in Texas are bringing the same on ourselves as well, we just haven't gotten quite that far yet.)

10:59 PM  
Blogger Dan from Madison said...

I will second what windaria said about the corruption and add a bit. By the way, everyone down there lives in a place where hurricanes hit EVERY year, namely the south and southeast portions of the United States. How many times do you want people like me in Wisconsin to send money to rebuild the place? And I didn't see boatloads of southerners streaming north to help me clean up my friends house after it was damaged by a tornado last spring. Nor will I see anyone from those areas of the country help me shovel my walk today after we get six inches of snow. It is where we live, take it or leave it. You live in an area where hurricanes come through EVERY year. Take it or leave it.

5:59 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

Dan:

By using your logic, people living in Tornado ally should never be allowed to apply for federal help, nor people who live in areas where blizzards can damage businesses and homes, nor people to live in tornado ally, etc. Yes, we know hurricanes come our way. But do you want to live in a country as packed as India because people can't live where there's all these acts of mother nature?

But no, I don't expect yall in other parts of the country to foot the bill. That is exactly why many of us are fighting to give our state the same percentage of revenues that states such as Texas and Florida receive for offshore oil & gas revenues. Our state is one of the major suppliers of gasoline for the rest of the country, even you people up in the midwest. I have nothing against oil companies exploring here, as they employ thousands of people along the Gulf Coast, including myself. However, we are tired of supplying much of the country with heating oil, gasoline, natural gas, etc. all while having our coast and marshland eaten up and getting screwed out of our fair share of revenues from the federal government. If we can receive those revenues, then we wouldn't have to go to the taxpayers of the nation for assistance everytime a hurricane hits our coast.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Dan from Madison said...

Nick: I don't think we really want to compare federal aid dollars with regards to tornadoes vs. hurricane damage. Of course hurricanes win that one every time - but it is silly anyway. My point is how many times do we need to rebuild the south? I don't know enough about the subject but if you really want those dollars for all of the fuel that we here in the Midwest bring up from Louisiana, fire all of your corrupt politicians and get 'er done. And that is probably the point of the original post.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

Xavier, you are right, Louisiana is getting the short (but sharp) end of the stick on the deal. And you are right, it needs to change. That said, Louisiana has recieved a huge chunk of federal money to upgrade the levees and instead of it going to upgraded levees it was squandered. Can we trust Louisiana with that kind of money? When you stop electing idiots and thieves to office, maybe we can talk some more.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

Dan:

We are in the process of trying to fire our corrupt politicians...well, at least I and informed LA citizens are. The first legislation in trying to do that is term limits.

However, there is no denying that President Bush, and I voted for him twice and think he's generally a nice guy, has appeared to almost be trying to screw Louisiana. Not that any Dem. president would have done more, it's politics, and FL with its electoral votes is ALWAYS going to get better and more efficient hurricane relief from the feds.

If you'd read my follow-up post from this one on my site, I explained how the lease sales work, the problem with LA getting screwed, the fact that the problem was started when our own corrupt governor, Huey P. Long, struck the deal w/ the feds. 30 yrs. ago, and that our politicians (Boddy Jindal) are fighting for us to get our rightful revenues from the feds. The federal government is screwing us by trying to look the other way on this issue. Fortunately, it seems like at least one Congressman from Texas, Ted Poe, is on our side because I spoke with him two days ago.

I understand ya'll don't like your taxes being in the hand of corrupt politicians, and we do have alot of them here. But no state is perfect, there is widespread corruption everywhere in politics, and it gets worse once politicians get to D.C. All Louisiana is trying to say is that we should receive what is rightfully ours for what we supply to the rest of the country. If we were to decide to stop allowing oil & gas that we produce to be distributed throughout the country, everyone else's heating bills will go up and gas will be $6/gallon easy, as we have many of the nation's refineries here as well.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

Nick, Xavier, I'm in Houston, so you have to understand where I'm coming from. We took in the lion's share of NOLA's evacuees, and we got the short sharp end of the stick ourselves in doing so. Our murder rate has spiked, our schools are overflowing with kids that can't read at grade level, our hospitals, already buried under the Illegal Alien onslaught are getting a double whammy from all of the NOLA evacuees that think the place to go when thier bastard kids get a case of the sniffles or thier teeth are rotting out of their head and hurting, or they need another Oxycontin fix, is the emergency room. The feds aren't exactly falling over themselves to help pay for that either. NOLA's problems were a long time in festering. The wound is full of puss and is gangrenous, and the patient is screaming that we had better save the leg or else, even though the patient has never even tried to clean or bandage the wound himself.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Rorschach:

I can understand, you being from New Orleans, being fed up with the evacuees, constantly hearing about New Orleans, and being asked for handouts. Believe me, I'm tired of hearing about New Orleans too, epecially when victims of Rita, from lower Vermilion Parish, LA to lower Jefferson County, TX have yet to receive any aid. However, the whole point of this post that I had started, was not that our state should receive more handouts, but rather, that our state should receive our fair share of the oil & gas revenues. Again, Texas gets 100% from 9 miles out, while Louisiana gets 100% from only 3 miles out and 27% past that. If the federal government would just give us our fair share then we wouldn't have to constantly ask for federal aid. And again, I spoke with your U.S. Congressman from Kingwood, Ted Poe, two days ago, and he agrees with the bill that our state Congressman has proposed.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Oh, and thanks for taking the evacuees, our state appreciates it from two levels: 1) Ya'll took in good people who just needed relief for a month or so 2) Ya'll took in the ones that we don't want back!!

12:40 PM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

Nick, I'm not from NOLA, I've lived in Houston since 1970, I moved here with my family from Centerville Mississippi when I was 4. As I said before, you're right, Louisiana is being screwed out of a buttload of money. On the other hand, Louisiana has not been the best steward of federal monies in the past, and is not showing signs of changing much very soon. I'm not so sure giving them the same deal Texas gets would change much other than enrich the entrenched politicos a bit more.

And we don't want those idiots either! =D

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gov Blanco http://swamptattler.blogspot.com/2006/03/governor-kathleen-blanco-reelection.html

9:34 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

rorschach:

Sorry, I meant to say you being from Houston, not New Orleans, typo.

Look, you are right, our history of corrupt politicians and their handling of federal money as been established. I am not arguing that, though idiots in D.C. calling our politicians corrupt is like Hiter calling Stalin a murderer.

Regardless, the point is that it is only right for our state to receive the same deal as Texas. It's our coast that is taking the hit to allow exploration so the rest of the country isn't paying $6-8/gal. or more for gasoline. If we, the citizens of Louisiana, decide to use the revenues to build a 6ft. diamond statue of a crawfish and throw the worlds most expensive crawfish boil and keg party once a year, so what. It's OUR revenue money.

I'm very much a small government guy. I believe that government rarely does anything well, and I don't believe in depending on government for handouts, which would be the whole point of giving our state the same percentage of offshore O&G revenues that Texas receives, not necessarilly the same amount of money, but the same percentage. From there, it will be up to me and the good citizens of this state to make sure the revenues are used to rebuild our coast and better prepare it for future hurricanes, and fix our problem of eroding coastal lands and estuaries.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The fact that he barely mentioned the worse natural disaster to ever befall America in his State of the Union speech was very telling.">

I was enjoying the blog until I read THIS comment. Sorry, but the Katrina "thing" was NOT either the "worst natural disaster to befall America" or even the worst natural disaster to befall Louisiana---that glory goes to the 1927 flood and levee crevasses, which affected more people, more land area, cost more in inflation-adjusted dollars, and was repaired WITHOUT any federal or state aid AT ALL.

As a Louisiana native I feel sorry for the folks of New Orleans (and in fact still have relatives there), but please let's stop the sympathy-begging exaggerations.

7:54 PM  

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