The Loss of Louisiana’s Coastline
The Louisiana coastline is losing almost a football field of land per hour to rising water and commercial activity, according to a state-commissioned report. In order to prevent further deterioration of the coastline, the report calls for the investment of over $50 Billion dollars. The loss of this land represents a significant change to Louisiana’s economy, as it affects fishing and other commercial activity, tourism, and housing.
Commercial activities have played a crucial role in the devastation of Louisiana’s coastline. For decades, oil and gas companies cut canals across the wetlands in order to better transport materials and build pipelines. This continual destruction of wetlands allowed for salt water to flow into the marshlands, which killed off vegetation preventing erosion of the coastline. As the process has continued, Louisiana’s barrier of marshland has dwindled and died, leaving it more susceptible to hurricanes and other natural disasters. The damage is so significant, in fact, that New Orleans filed a suit seeking to force oil and gas companies to pay for land retention and restoration projects.
This study takes on an added significance given the political and regulatory climate in the United States. President Trump’s recent Executive Order mandates a “2 for 1” process for implementing regulations, which requires regulatory agencies to remove two existing regulatory rules for every new rule implemented. In Louisiana, where oil and gas industries are a major economic force, these new regulatory policies could make preservation of coastal land even more difficult. At a time when Louisiana needs to take strong regulatory and restorative measures to prevent further loss of wetlands and communities, the President is seeking to remove some of the regulatory tools available to achieve these goals.
If you would like to see regulatory action to prevent the loss of land in the Gulf Coast while also saving the homes and jobs of millions of Americans, contact your Congressmen, Senators, and the White House to voice your opposition to the Executive Order governing regulatory agencies.