Caroline Fayard, a New Orleans lawyer who is a Democratic candidate for the United States Senate, has released her plan to fight climate change and coastal erosion throughout Louisiana, and to help facilitate consensus amongst communities and businesses toward coastal restoration efforts.
Caroline’s plan focuses on the immediate actions needed to expand revenue streams allocated for coastal restoration, expedite diversion programs to improve sediment build-up in the wetlands, and implement measures to shore up and stabilize the market for affordable flood insurance for Louisiana’s most vulnerable communities.
“Anthropogenic climate change is perhaps the number one challenge facing the future of Louisiana. My opponents either deny the existence of man-made climate change, or would like you to believe that there is one solution to cure it all,” Fayard said.
“But as the number one State in the nation most economically and ecologically vulnerable to climate change, sea level rise, and coastal erosion, Louisianans know this is a complex issue that will take a national effort.”
Caroline Fayard’s policy priorities to combat anthropogenic climate change and coastal restoration include:
- Protect and Increase Federal Revenue Streams for Coastal Restoration – Revenues created by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) from offshore oil & gas leases, along with RESTORE Act funds from the Deepwater Horizon trusts, represent the single largest coastal restoration resource Louisiana has at her disposal. These revenues for coastal restoration, estimated to exceed $175 million in 2017, must be protected and expanded at all costs. For Louisiana to receive the capital needed to adequately combat the damage done to the coasts and fully fund the coastal master plan, the $500 million cap on GOMESA revenues must be lifted, the share of revenues expanded and their values indexed to inflation in order to meet the challenges ahead.
- Expediting Diversion Projects for Coastal Restoration – Diversions have already proven effective in combating coastal erosion and replenishing the wetlands of Louisiana and other Gulf Shore states. It’s a policy based on sound science. Using the power of the Mississippi River is one of the most natural and cost efficient ways for rebuilding the wetlands: Diversions are estimated to be cheaper per square mile as compared to dredging, by around a factor of 10 in at least one project ($1.26 million/sq. mi v. $100 million/ sq. mi).
- Ensuring the National Flood Insurance Program’s Stability – The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is vital to the long-term economic standing of Louisiana, and all other states impacted by frequent flooding. With the highest number of enrolled NFIP policyholders per capita in the nation, Louisiana’s access to affordable flood insurance is a necessity. Reauthorizing and improving the NFIP will continue to help guarantee Louisianans access to flexible and affordable flood insurance, providing a sense of economic stability for now and the future.