[StBernard] [LANDRIEU] A Letter from Senator Landrieu

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Sun Dec 10 09:57:18 EST 2006

December 9, 2006
Dear Friends,

At about two o'clock this morning, Louisiana won an historic victory that
will make our state stronger and safer for generations to come. In the
early Saturday morning hours, with the last roll call vote of this Congress,
the United States Senate passed the Domenici-Landrieu Gulf of Mexico Energy
Security bill, giving us a fair share of the oil and gas revenues we produce
off our coast.

This bill, which now awaits the President's signature, will open 8.3 million
acres of the Gulf of Mexico to new oil and natural gas drilling and share
37.5 percent of the revenues with Louisiana and our neighbors to restore our
wetlands, strengthen our levees, and build better hurricane and flood
defenses. Setting this precedent - that coastal states should share in the
revenues they generate - is vital to our state's future.

The bill also funds the creation of new parks and open spaces in all 50
states, reminding the entire nation of what we in Louisiana already know -
that producing energy and preserving our environment can go hand-in-hand.

The $13 billion we estimate the bill will produce for our state over the
next 30 years is a core piece of the federal funding plan that will make
comprehensive flood control and protection of our coast possible. Over the
next half century, this legislation could produce as much as $40 billion for
Louisiana's coastal protection.

This fair share legislation, which passed both the House and Senate with
strong bipartisan majorities, was identical -- word for word and comma for
comma - to the Domenici-Landrieu Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, S.
3711, that we passed in the Senate in August. It was the product of many
people working together to develop responsible, balanced legislation that
was not only passable in both the House and the Senate but also was able to
win the President's signature.

The new revenues this bill will produce for Louisiana are on top of billions
of dollars in federal funding for our coastal needs through other sources,
including the new Coastal Impact Assistance Program we passed last summer,
which will soon begin delivering more than $500 million for Louisiana
coastal projects over the next four years, and the $6 billion for levee
construction and strengthening and wetlands restoration we won in the
emergency supplemental appropriations bills. This is in addition to numerous
other federal revenues sources we are already using for coastal protection
projects, such as those from the Breaux Act and onshore federal revenue

The victory Louisiana won this week with passage of the fair share bill is a
perfect example of what can be accomplished when we leave partisan politics
behind and come together to get the People's work done. Our Congressional
delegation, together with our state and local officials, business leaders
and civic groups, never stopped working to achieve this goal.

Numerous independent groups were also essential to the effort, including
America's WETLAND Campaign to Save Coastal Louisiana, Parishes Against
Coastal Erosion, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, Women of the
Storm, Levees.org, Coast Guardians and national organizations such as the
National Association of Manufacturers, the American Chemistry Council, the
Consumer Alliance for Energy Security, the Agriculture Energy Alliance and
countless others who supported Louisiana's fight. These groups and their
dedicated members inspired supporters across the country to call their own
congressmen and senators and urge them to vote with us.

Thousands of people - in Louisiana and throughout America, in elected office
and the private sector - gave their time and energy to tell Louisiana's
story and fight for our fair share, and we owe them all our thanks.

In addition to marking our historic revenue sharing triumph, the 109th
Congress was for Louisiana perhaps the productive session in the history of
our state's Congressional delegation. We've sent more than $42 billion to
Louisiana for the recovery from hurricanes Katrina and Rita and rebuilding,
secured a Coastal Impact Assistance Program that will provide half a billion
dollars for Louisiana's coastal restoration and protection over the next
four years, and have made countless reforms to our nation's disaster
response methods and organizations so that we are better prepared for the
next disaster.

During the past two years, we have also fought many battles to make America
more competitive and all of Louisiana stronger in so many areas, both before
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit as well as meeting the new, bigger
challenges since then. These fights include improving our schools, reforming
government bureaucracies, strengthening small businesses, prosecuting a more
effective war on terrorism, funding new levees and flood control, providing
more accessible and affordable health care options, pushing tax relief for
families, meeting our transportation needs, promoting smart planning in
local communities, reducing estate taxes, crafting new energy policies, and
strengthening Louisiana's economy - from energy to agriculture, from
technology development to ports and navigation.

We're winning the tools to build a stronger, safer future for Louisiana, and
now is the time for all of us to use them wisely as we build our better


Mary L. Landrieu
United States Senator

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