Mr. RICHMOND. Madam Speaker, I rise today to thank President Obama and the administration for recognizing how important Louisiana wetlands are not only to Louisiana citizens but also to the country. President Obama put $35.8 million into his budget for coastal restoration projects in Louisiana.
Madam Speaker, I also rise today to implore the Republican leadership to right the wrong in zeroing out the money that the President put in for our coastal restoration. The Federal Government has made over $150 billion through offshore oil and gas revenues, primarily from oil and gas exploration off the coast of Louisiana. Louisiana has lost 25 square miles of coastal wetlands every year, or one football field every hour.
More than 80 percent of the Nation's offshore oil and gas is produced off Louisiana's coast, and 25 percent of the Nation's foreign and domestic oil comes ashore on Louisiana roads and waterways. The coastal zone also contains the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, which handles 13 percent of the Nation's daily oil imports.
Madam Speaker, I would just implore the Republican leadership to do the right thing and restore the money for Louisiana's wetlands.