Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Next New Orleans?

Whatever you think about it, the Stimulus Bill could accomplish some really good things. But now it seems some "moderate" Senators are doing their best to ruin even that, if a TPM report can be believed. And it probably can, as they even have a copy of the document being used on Capitol Hill.

I'm going to ignore the cuts to education, since education always gets cut, and clearly making people smarter doesn't help the economy any. All you need is the smarts of a Joe the Plumber to be a national party advisor on the economy, after all. The part that really stood out to me is the complete 0% funding of the intended $50 mil for the California Bay-Delta Restoration Act. This might not sound like something folks in Portland, Maine or Portland, Oregon should care about, but it is. Here's a tiny bit of an article from the July 2007 issue of Science Magazine:

But the smelt is only the delta's most immediate concern. Several other fish species native to the delta are also in steep decline, also battered by loss of habitat, pollution, and competition from hundreds of invasive species. Rising sea levels prompted by climate change threaten to push salt water from San Francisco Bay much farther inland, possibly even overwhelming the southern delta region where fresh water is drawn for people and irrigation. Finally, the delta is home to a labyrinth of 1770 kilometers of earthen levees designed to channel the delta's water on its way to the bay. Those levees, some 130 years old, sit near six seismic faults that crisscross the region, and it's widely feared that a major quake could produce catastrophic levee failures that would wipe out water supplies for tens of millions of people.

Catastrophic levee failures. That could never happen in America.

So it's like this, it's worth chopping a mere $50 mil of a $700+ billion bill while possibly risking a disaster as terrible as the one in New Orleans we still haven't recovered from?



Blogger Queen Whackamole said...

Seriously? What the heck?? There will be AT LEAST $50 mil in damage when those levees break...

Good time to invest in kayaks.

10:32 AM  

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