December 10, 2010

An Editorial from the Daily Comet, of Lafourche Parish, Louisiana:

The push is on to get President Obama and the Congress to take action on a measure that could help Louisiana’s fragile coast.

America’s Wetland Foundation is asking that Obama and Congress work together to dedicate any fine money from the BP oil spill to coastal-restoration projects along the Gulf.

The thinking is simple and compelling.

The lame-duck Congress, which is still controlled by Democrats, could work well with the Democratic president in the waning days of the session to get something done on this very important issue.

On the other hand, if the issue holds over until the next Congress, when Republicans take control of the House of Representatives, the political wrangling might be much more difficult.

Either way, it is a measure that deserves the support of the Gulf Coast, which has seen devastating effects from the oil spill. The overriding concern, though, is that timely work on it will make the likelihood of success much greater.

With Congress on the brink of holiday recess and with a new year that holds little promise for compromise on any front, the current lame-duck session may be our best hope for immediate action,” R. King Milling, chairman of the America’s Wetland Foundation, wrote Monday in a letter to Obama.

It makes sense that the federal government would try to attack this problem with the urgency it demands.<

And it makes sense for Congress and the president to do so while party politics are on the side of cooperation.

Val Marmillion, who is from Houma and who is managing director of America’s Wetland, said the president has not yet followed through on his promise to help the coastal-restoration cause.

“It’s December, and we’ve been through two or three different commissions, and we have a very vulnerable coast. It seems as though every month that passes in Washington there’s a tendency for people to move on to a new issue,” Marmillion said.

Marmillion is correct to point out the fickle nature of public interest and opinion. Right now, as people are still well familiar with the oil spill and the effects we know about already, the time is still ripe for action in Washington.