If you owned something that would produce say… golden eggs, would you allow your work boss to just claim he owned 80% of the eggs because you worked for him? Since most of you aren’t related to Marc Morial and said “no” let’s proceed.
The people of the state of Louisiana own the oil fields that lay “black gold” eggs in the Gulf of Mexico. I like to remind you that our state’s charter, the Constitution of 1812, EXPLICITLY says that the state’s borders “includ[e] all Islands within three leagues of the coast.”(1) This should mean that the state’s coastline extends about 10 miles into the Gulf. The reason this is important rests on the amount of royalties due this state from the sale of oil leases and the revenue they generate in those 10 miles.
Now, there is the issue of the aforementioned land eroding into the sea and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority’s Sisyphaen efforts(2) to stop it, but they forgot to account for the most destructive force of all: trial lawyers.
A suit has recently been filed that asks various oil companies to fork over $100 million(3) to the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East which has been locally tasked with coastal protection as well. Of course, the Authority will only receive $68 of those millions while the ambulance chasers pocket the rest.
Governor Jindal has demanded of the Authority that their suit be dropped saying it violates the Legislature’s Act while reminding the press that this process will cost $50 billion over 50 years. Yes, that sounds like a lot until you consider the $200 BILLION booty the state has paid the Feds in offshore royalties since the Submerged Lands Act of 1953. (4)
Jindal is spot on to say a better way to deal with our coast is to reclaim control of our waters, keep 90 percent of that royalty revenue in the state and assess the energy company’s an impost on production to fund restoration. The only way this plan will work is to take Shakespeare’s advice and deal with the trial lawyers.(5)
“We, the Representatives of the People of all that part of the Territory or country ceded under the name of Louisiana, by the treaty made at Paris, on the 30th day of April 1803, between the United States and France, contained in the following limits, to wit; beginning at the mouth of the river Sabine, ‘thence by a line to be drawn along the middle of said river, including all its islands, to the thirty second degree of latitude—thence due north to the Northernmost part of the thirty third degree of north latitude—thence along the said parallel of latitude to the river Mississippi— thence down the said river to the river Iberville, and from thence along the middle of the said river and lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain to the Gulf of Mexico—thence bounded by the said Gulf to the place of beginning, including all Islands within three leagues of the coast—in Convention Assembled by virtue of an act of Congress, entitled “an act to enable the people of the Territory of Orleans to form a constitution and State government and for the admission of said State into the Union on an equal footing with the original States, and for other purpose :“ In order to secure to all the citizens thereof the enjoyment of the right of Life, Liberty and property, do ordain and establish the following constitution or form of government, and do mutually agree with each other to form ourselves into a free and independent State, by the name of the State of Louisiana.”
2. http://www.mythweb.com/encyc/entries/sisyphus.html In Greek mythology Sisyphus is doomed to roll a stone up and over a hill but every time he nears the crest the stone rolls back down the hill.