Blanco Renews Vow to Fight Western Gulf Sale
Responding to the Minerals Management Service’s announcement Monday that it will proceed with its upcoming Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco stood by previously stated threats to block the Aug. 16 sale.
Blanco contends that her involvement has become necessary because the federal government has failed to properly support efforts to protect and restore the state’s coastline, particularly after last year’s ravaging hurricane season.
“I cannot allow this [lease sale] to occur without sufficient assurance that MMS has adequately studied and considered the potential impact of such activities to the state's coastal resources and communities in the post-Katrina and post-Rita environment,” Blanco said in a statement released by her office. “Most importantly, I will not stand by as these activities continue without a federal commitment to protect and restore the bountiful assets of coastal Louisiana.”
“With over a third of America's oil and gas supply coming through the wetlands of coastal Louisiana, these are truly national assets--providing economic and energy security for the entire country,” said the governor. “It is disappointing that it has come to this, but the federal government has not heeded our repeated warnings. I am taking action.”
Blanco said that she plans to “use all legal powers afforded me under federal and state law” to protecting Louisiana’s coast. “I will challenge Lease Sale 200 in court,” she added. “Our lawyers have been hard at work and they will put forward the best possible case for Louisiana. I will continue this fight until such time that the federal government and the Congress make a significant commitment to the long-term sustainability and protection of coastal Louisiana.”