I. Thanks to Congress for providing
funds to help us repair our levees, rebuild our infrastructure, and
bring our people home to houses and jobs, education and healthcare.
II. (For those who have not visited)
• More than $100 billion
appropriated by federal government for Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. It includes:
- $10.4 billion
allocated for housing infrastructure repairs and economic
development...among this is $7.4 billion for our “Road Home” recovery plan
- $6 billion to repair and upgrade levees to withstand 100-year storm
Please come to Louisiana to see the
progress that we have made - and the challenges that remain. Talk to
the business and civic leaders of the rebuilding effort, and to
citizens who are dedicated to the area. Fly over the coast and see its
fragility firsthand. We seek your advice and counsel on our rebuilding
• 55 of the 100 Senators and 107 of the 435 Representatives
have been to New Orleans and the Louisiana Coast one year after
Hurricane Katrina - and four days before the anniversary of Rita.
III. The most critical issue:
Oil and gas royalties from the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)
exploration must be shared with Louisiana for coastal restoration. (LADIES...THIS IS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT MESSAGE AS YOU MEET WITH MEMBERS OF THE US CONGRESS!)
• When Congressional visitors see the challenges and
magnitude of problems, they have a better understanding of the issue.
HISTORY OF LOUISIANA’S WETLANDS
• 1927 flood: Mississippi levees were constructed and prevented annual flooding and replenishing of wetlands
• 1930 & 40’s:
Increased navigational canals and extensive oil and gas exploration
coupled with thousands of miles of necessary pipelines allowed salt
water into Louisiana marshes.
LOUISIANA NOW FUELS AND FEEDS THE NATION ...
...BUT LOUISIANA IS WASHING AWAY
• 1/3 of oil and gas production comes across the coast of Louisiana and will increase with the new Chevron find.
• 30% of all seafood consumed in the U.S. comes from the waters of Louisiana.
• #1 Port - The Port of New
Orleans is the largest by tonnage in the U.S.; five of the country’s 15
largest ports are in Louisiana. New Orleans tonnage has increased by 4%
over its pre-Katrina levels.
• $7.5 Billion -
royalties the United States Treasury receives from oil and gas produced
from the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)..second only to IRS
revenue. Of this, $5 Billion comes from offshore Louisiana - of which Louisiana gets ZERO!
• One football field of land is lost every 35 minutes
• Since the 1930s, an area the size of Delaware - 2,000 square miles of wetlands -has been lost.
• 200 square miles of marshland became open water as a result of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina in Southeast Louisiana.
• Every 2.7 to four miles of lost marsh correlates to a one-foot rise in storm surge.
• Two million people are now more vulnerable because these wetlands have disappeared.
• Homeland security is a prominent issue when thousands of miles of pipeline become exposed due to lost marsh.
THE SOLUTION: $15 BILLION OVER THE NEXT 20 YEARS
• Restore the barrier islands
• Redirect portions of the lower Mississippi River
• Replenish the wetlands with silt and dredge material which currently is being dumped into the waters of the Outer Continental Shelf
PENDING CONGRESSIONAL LEGISLATION
• Congress must act now!
A percentage of the $5 billion in royalties that the federal government
currently receives from offshore drilling in the Outer Continental
Shelf must be shared with Louisiana.
• These dollars will be placed in a trust fund dedicated to the express purpose of coastal restoration and enhanced flood protection.
• Currently there are two bills before Congress:
1. In the House of Representatives
The Jindal Bill
would give Louisiana up to 50% of the revenue from select current and
future leases. It would also allow states to permit drilling off both
the West Coast and East Coasts of the United States.
2. In the Senate
The Domenici Bill,
a “narrower” bill, would permit drilling for the first time on
8.3 million acres in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and would allow
coastal states, including Louisiana, to get 37.5 percent of the
royalties oil and gas companies pay to the federal government.
The Women of the Storm endorses
neither bill. We are proponents of coastal restoration and the receipt
of a percentage of the oil and gas royalties from the Outer Continental