[StBernard] The Word from Washington: Flood Insurance, Offshore Drilling, Chinese Drywall and more

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Wed Apr 14 22:11:39 EDT 2010

My last two weeks home in Louisiana for Congress's spring district work
period have been a true pleasure. Feasting on crawfish, spending Easter with
my family, and meeting face-to-face with constituents has reminded me of our
great Louisiana way of life and the values I try to represent in
Washington. Now that Congress is back in session, I would like to update
you on my work as your representative to benefit Louisiana.

Extending the National Flood Insurance Program
Louisianians have had more than our fair share of experience with natural
disasters, and we have learned that being prepared beforehand is the best
way to protect your home and family when the storm hits. That's why it is
so important that lawmakers in Washington put aside their partisan
differences and work together to renew the flood insurance program, which
expired March 28th.

Families and small businesses across Louisiana depend on the National Flood
Insurance Program
piv=2100056745.42622.145&gen=1&mailing_linkid=8623> for flood protection.
A permanent reauthorization of the program would give families the security
of knowing their homes are protected, as well as the ability to plan for
future real estate investments. I am pleased that the Senate is acting this
week to renew the flood insurance program and ensure that Louisiana homes
and businesses are protected from the spring and summer floods
piv=2100056745.42622.145&gen=1&mailing_linkid=8624> , but they need to act
quickly. Once the flood insurance program is renewed, I urge all Louisiana
families who do not currently have flood insurance to consider investing in
a policy today
piv=2100056745.42622.145&gen=1&mailing_linkid=8625> .

Supporting Offshore Drilling Expansion
Recently, the President acknowledged that energy independence can only be
achieved by keeping all domestic energy options on the table.


Congressman Melancon and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar discuss
Louisiana's role in offshore energy production at an energy services company
in Harvey, Louisiana. More pictures here.
Opening the Outer Continental Shelf along the Atlantic coast to exploration
could be a shot in the arm for Louisiana's economy, as our homegrown
companies are unparalleled in offshore exploration, drilling and services.
Because Louisiana has been a leader in offshore energy production, Secretary
of the Interior Ken Salazar and I recently visited an offshore energy
services company
piv=2100056745.42622.145&gen=1&mailing_linkid=8627> in Harvey, Louisiana,
to meet with workers and discuss their role in our nation's future energy

Exploration in the eastern Gulf will do a great deal to expand the presence
of Louisiana in the offshore economy. Port Fourchon is already established
as a critical component to our nation's energy demands. Now with projects
like the deepening of Baptiste Collette, we can expand the role of the rest
of Louisiana's ports in servicing new offshore fields. I look forward to
working with Secretary Salazar on expanding energy production in the Gulf,
strengthening our economy and providing thousands of new jobs for our

Fighting for Homeowners with Chinese Drywall
Last week, I toured St. Bernard Fire Chief Thomas Stone's home
piv=2100056745.42622.145&gen=1&mailing_linkid=8628> in Chalmette to inspect
the extensive damage caused by toxic Chinese drywall. We discussed how the
toxic substances in the wallboard can create a fire hazard for homeowners,
as well as pose a serious health risk for residents. In March, I sent a
piv=2100056745.42622.145&gen=1&mailing_linkid=8629> to the nation's top
fire official alerting him that corrosion of electrical wiring caused by
toxic Chinese drywall increased fire risks for homeowners, and requesting
his assistance in helping Louisiana drywall victims cope with the problem.

Toxic Chinese drywall is an especially serious problem in Louisiana because
so many new homes were rebuilt after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. As such, I
have led the charge to protect Louisianan families by authoring the Drywall
Victims Insurance Protection Act
piv=2100056745.42622.145&gen=1&mailing_linkid=8630> , which would prevent
insurance companies from cancelling or failing to renew homeowners' policies
because they have Chinese drywall in their homes. I have also cosponsored
bipartisan legislation
piv=2100056745.42622.145&gen=1&mailing_linkid=8631> that would hold foreign
manufacturers accountable for selling defective and dangerous products like
Chinese drywall in the United States.

I will continue working with our state and local leaders to help Louisiana
families make their homes safe again. If you suspect you may have
contaminated drywall, please file a complaint with the Louisiana Recovery
Authority by going to http://lra.louisiana.gov/
piv=2100056745.42622.145&gen=1&mailing_linkid=8632> and clicking on the
"contaminated drywall information" button. Homeowners should also contact
the Louisiana Attorney General
piv=2100056745.42622.145&gen=1&mailing_linkid=8633> 's Office at
800-351-4889 or www.agbuddycaldwell.com
piv=2100056745.42622.145&gen=1&mailing_linkid=8634> and the Consumer
Product Safety Commission at 1-800-638-2772 or
piv=2100056745.42622.145&gen=1&mailing_linkid=8635> .

Spurring Economic Development in South Louisiana
Recently, communities in south Louisiana received $360,000 in federal
investments for economic development and job creation. The grants were
awarded to the South Central Planning and Development Commission and the
Acadiana Regional Development District by the U.S. Department of Commerce's
Economic Development Administration
piv=2100056745.42622.145&gen=1&mailing_linkid=8637> (EDA).

When I was a small businessman, I appreciated the work our regional economic
development commission did to grow local businesses in south Louisiana. As a
Congressman, I strongly support federal investments in these local
commissions that will enable them to further develop our business
infrastructure, reenergize our economy and create more opportunities for our
workers and small businesses in south Louisiana.

This newsletter is just a short update on the day-to-day business I am
conducting on behalf of the people of Louisiana. I am always interested in
hearing your views on these and any other issues and I encourage you to
contact me
piv=2100056745.42622.145&gen=1&mailing_linkid=8638> if you have any
questions, comments, or concerns. Thank you for reading my newsletter and I
look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Charlie Melancon
U.S. Congressman, Louisiana's 3rd District

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