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  • E-mail Suggests Government Seeking to Blame Groups

    :rove:

    QUOTE
    Published on Friday, September 16, 2005 by The Clarion-Ledger (MIssissippi)
    E-mail Suggests Government Seeking to Blame Groups
    by Jerry Mitchell

    Federal officials appear to be seeking proof to blame the flood of New Orleans on environmental groups, documents show.

    The Clarion-Ledger has obtained a copy of an internal e-mail the U.S. Department of Justice sent out this week to various U.S. attorneys' offices: "Has your district defended any cases on behalf of the (U.S.) Army Corps of Engineers against claims brought by environmental groups seeking to block or otherwise impede the Corps work on the levees protecting New Orleans? If so, please describe the case and the outcome of the litigation."

    Cynthia Magnuson, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, said Thursday she couldn't comment "because it's an internal e-mail."

    Shown a copy of the e-mail, David Bookbinder, senior attorney for Sierra Club, remarked, "Why are they (Bush administration officials) trying to smear us like this?"

    The Sierra Club and other environmental groups had nothing to do with the flooding that resulted from Hurricane Katrina that killed hundreds, he said. "It's unfortunate that the Bush administration is trying to shift the blame to environmental groups. It doesn't surprise me at all."

    Federal officials say the e-mail was prompted by a congressional inquiry but wouldn't comment further.

    Whoever is behind the e-mail may have spotted the Sept. 8 issue of National Review Online that chastised the Sierra Club and other environmental groups for suing to halt the corps' 1996 plan to raise and fortify 303 miles of Mississippi River levees in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas.

    The corps settled the litigation in 1997, agreeing to hold off on some work until an environmental impact could be completed. The National Review article concluded: "Whether this delay directly affected the levees that broke in New Orleans is difficult to ascertain."

    The problem with that conclusion?

    The levees that broke causing New Orleans to flood weren't Mississippi River levees. They were levees that protected the city from Lake Pontchartrain levees on the other side of the city.

    When Katrina struck, the hurricane pushed tons of water from the Gulf of Mexico into Lake Pontchartrain, which borders the city to the north. Corps officials say the water from the lake cleared the levees by 3 feet. It was those floodwaters, they say, that caused the levees to degrade until they ruptured, causing 80 percent of New Orleans to flood.

    Bookbinder said the purpose of the litigation by the Sierra Club and others in 1996 was where the corps got the dirt for the project. "We had no objections to levees," he said. "We said, 'Just don't dig film materials out of the wetlands. Get the dirt from somewhere else.' "

    If you listen to what some conservatives say about environmentalists, he said, "We're responsible for most of the world's ills."

    In 1977, the corps wanted to build a 25-mile-long barrier and gate system to protect New Orleans on the east side. Both environmental groups and fishermen opposed the project, saying it would choke off water into Lake Pontchartrain.

    After litigation, corps officials abandoned the idea, deciding instead to build higher levees. "They came up with a cheaper alternative," Bookbinder said. "We didn't object to raising the levees."

    John Hall, a spokesman for the corps in New Orleans, said the barrier the corps was proposing in the 1970s would only stand up to a weak Category 3 hurricane, not a Category 4 hurricane like Katrina. "How much that would have prevented anything, I'm not sure," he said.

    Since 1999, corps officials have studied the concept of building huge floodgates to prevent flooding in New Orleans from a Category 4 or 5 hurricane.

    Although the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 2001 listed a hurricane striking New Orleans as one of the top three catastrophic events the nation could face (the others being a terrorist attack on New York City and an earthquake in San Francisco), funding for corps projects aimed at curbing flooding in southeast Louisiana lagged.

    U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., has said the White House cut $400 million from corps' requests for flood control money in the area.

    In fiscal 2006, the corps had hoped to receive up to $10 million in funding for a six-year feasibility study on such floodgates. According to a recent estimate, the project would take 10 years to build and cost $2.5 billion.

    "Our understanding is the locals would like to go to that," Hall said. "If I were local, I'd want it."

    Copyright © 2005 Clarionledger.com

    ###[/b][/quote]


    QUOTE
    E-mail sent to various U.S. Attorney's offices:
    SUBJECT: Have you had any cases involving the levees in New Orleans?

    QUESTION: Has your district defended any cases on behalf of the Army Corps of Engineers against claims brought by environmental groups seeking to block or otherwise impede the Corps' work on the levees protecting New Orleans? If so, please describe the case and the outcome of the litigation.

    District: __________
    Contact: _________
    Telephone: ________[/b][/quote]
    Damn these electric sex pants!

    26+31+34+42+44+46+64+67+82+06 = 10

    Bring back the death penalty for corporations!

  • #2
    No more ridiculous than blaming global warming.
    RIP Chris Jones 1971-2009
    You'll never be forgotten.

    Comment


    • #3
      QUOTE(JWB @ Sep 17 2005, 08:48 AM) Quoted post

      No more ridiculous than blaming global warming.
      [/b][/quote]

      Arguable.

      QUOTE
      The increase in powerful hurricanes coincides with a rise of nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit in the tropical sea surface temperature around the world.

      It's the warm water vapor from the oceans that drives tropical storms, and as the water gets warmer the amount of evaporation increases, providing more fuel for the tempests.

      Co-author Greg Holland of the National Center for Atmospheric Research said the researchers can't say rising sea-surface temperatures caused a specific storm, such as Katrina.

      But their study shows the potential for more Katrina-like events to occur, he said.[/b][/quote]

      While the connection the National Review made, and some loyal hack picked up on and mobilized government resources to pursue, is boldly and wildly inaccurate.

      EDIT: remember we're talking about the flooding vs. the hurricane.
      Damn these electric sex pants!

      26+31+34+42+44+46+64+67+82+06 = 10

      Bring back the death penalty for corporations!

      Comment


      • #4
        QUOTE(dredbyrd @ Sep 17 2005, 10:05 AM) Quoted post
        EDIT: remember we're talking about the flooding vs. the hurricane.
        [/b][/quote]

        I agree.

        My comment wasn't directed at you [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif[/img]
        RIP Chris Jones 1971-2009
        You'll never be forgotten.

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't care what side of the political aisle you choose to stand on, what's the use of pointing fingers and finding blame? Let's just work together to take care of the displaced humans first, then we can focus on the enviromental damage.

          IMO, it's this constant freaking kiddie style political games that brings us all down. Can't we for once set aside our damn polital agendas, and seek some sort of common ground that'll be of a mutual benifit for all of us?
          Make America Great For Once.

          Comment


          • #6
            QUOTE(JWB @ Sep 17 2005, 10:20 AM) Quoted post

            QUOTE(dredbyrd @ Sep 17 2005, 10:05 AM) Quoted post
            EDIT: remember we're talking about the flooding vs. the hurricane.
            [/b][/quote]

            I agree.

            My comment wasn't directed at you [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif[/img]
            [/b][/quote]

            Understood [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif[/img]

            Took nothing personal, but to me the threat or risks of Global Warming, it should not be dismissed out of hand, so I thought I'd address the comparison.

            Interesting article from the UK: Global Warming 'Past the Point of No Return'


            QUOTE(The Kev @ Sep 17 2005, 10:29 AM) Quoted post

            I don't care what side of the political aisle you choose to stand on, what's the use of pointing fingers and finding blame? Let's just work together to take care of the displaced humans first, then we can focus on the enviromental damage.

            IMO, it's this constant freaking kiddie style political games that brings us all down. Can't we for once set aside our damn polital agendas, and seek some sort of common ground that'll be of a mutual benifit for all of us?
            [/b][/quote]

            I couldn't agree more Kev.
            Damn these electric sex pants!

            26+31+34+42+44+46+64+67+82+06 = 10

            Bring back the death penalty for corporations!

            Comment

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