Fighting for Coastal Restoration and Flood Protection
Hurricane Katrina reminded us how important levee protection is to our area and underscored the critical role of our coastal wetlands.
Louisiana is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, including nearly half of the coastal wetlands of the lower 48 states. But this resource is disappearing at a rapid rate. Louisiana has lost nearly 2,000 square miles of land since the 1930's. The wetlands are Louisiana's first line of defense against powerful Gulf storms, and our nation must make a firm commitment to protect this valuable resource. Scalise has been a long-time proponent of comprehensive hurricane and flood protection as well as coastal restoration efforts. The Gulf Coast Restoration Act, H.R. 56, was the first bill introduced by Scalise in the 112th Congress. Scalise's bill requires at least 80 percent of the fines assessed to BP under the Clean Water Act be directed to Gulf States for the purpose of coastal and ecosystem restoration.
The Importance of Offshore Revenue Sharing to Louisiana
Louisiana alone produces a quarter of the America's domestic oil and gas supply. While states like New Mexico receive up to 50 percent of the oil revenues within the state, Louisiana only receives a small portion of revenues from offshore activity. Our state plays too large a role in our nation's energy security, and we deserve to be able to participate in the same revenue sharing that other states enjoy.
Currently, revenues generated from energy produced off Louisiana's coast simply pad federal coffers. Returning a greater share of OCS revenues to Louisiana and other states that contribute to our nation's energy security is critical to restoring and protecting our wetlands and the billions of dollars in energy investments they protect.
During each Congress since being elected, Congressman Scalise has introduced legislation that will increase revenue sharing for Louisiana and will continue leading the effort in the U.S. House to provide Louisiana with its fair share of offshore revenues and finally make the critical investments necessary to restore our vanishing coast.
Focusing on Hurricane Recovery, FEMA Reform, and Effective Disaster Preparation
This Congress, Scalise also introduced the Disaster Recovery Improvement Act (DRIA), H.R. 57. This bill improves FEMA's disaster response plans and builds on lessons learned following Hurricane Katrina. DRIA would speed up FEMA's response time when responding to assistance requests, require FEMA to issue and implement regulations to expedite public assistance payments, require that FEMA update the factors used to determine the amount of individual assistance available for individuals affected by a disaster, and authorize FEMA to provide assistance for individuals with pets and service animals during emergencies.