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The Blame Game takes a trip in the Wayback Machine

Reported by Chrish - September 13, 2005

Damned environmentalists! Or so one would believe listening to this segment on The Big Story 9/13/05.

John Gibson had William LaJeunesse on to tell the tale of Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda and Ifonly. In 1965, yes, the LBJ years, flood gates were authorized to the Army Corp of Engineers to prevent a Category three hurricane and a twelve foot sea surge from inundating New Orleans. Some engineers say the structure could have prevented the flooding of New Orleans by keeping the level of Lake Ponchatrain down, preventing it from breeching the levees. An environmental group, "Save Our Wetlands", filed a lawsuit to protest the plan saying it would endanger marine life. A judge decided in their favor and the ACE did not pursue the matter.

"Save the Wetlands denies responsibility", saying it was the judge and not them who called for a halt to the project, and other environmental groups do not hold them responsible, agreeing that any plan to protect New Orleans must incorporate both dams and dikes AND wetland protection to absorb the surge.

Experts wish the project would have been pursued but it was dropped in the '80s. (Hmm, the Reagan years.) Had the project been undertaken in 1977, LaJeunnesse says, it would have cost ten billion dollars, one tenth of the estimated coat of recovering New Orleans.

Comment: There you have it. Those nutsy tree-huggers are to blame for the destruction of a major US city to save some shellfish. The failure to come up with a compromise plan in the ensuing 30-40 years does not speak well of our self-proclaimed superiority to the rest of the world.

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