Tuesday, February 7, 2017
How can the State get it right, when Congress gets it so wrong?
I'm no fan of single party control of the three branches of government. I have always been a fan of cross-aisle compromise. so it was neat to see today that the Mississippi State Senate – led by many Republican senators – voted unanimously on Senate Bill 2634, which creates a special trust fund for the total of $750 million Mississippi will receive over the next 15 years for economic damages from the Deepwater Horizon disaster than spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. That trust fund will put the money back into the coast where the damage occurred, and where those funds rightfully belong. They could have snarfed the funds up for general state use, but wisely decided not to.
At the same time, Congressman Steve Pallazzo - whose District covers the Gulf coast - is co-sponsoring H.R.861 - to terminate the Environmental Protection Agency. Those $750 Million would not have come to Mississippi to make right this terrible wrong without the yeoman work of the federal employees of the EPA, NOAA, and the Coast Guard. Terminating the very agency that helped secure this settlement, that helped make Mississippi whole again, is immoral because it creates a real danger that when the next disaster strikes, Mississippians will be unprotected and left to fend for themselves. BP did not pay up out of the goodness of its collective heart – it paid because the EPA worked tirelessly to make sure that the company was held accountable for its wrong.
You really have to wonder who the guy is actually representing, given his state colleagues willingness to do the right thing with the hard work of the very agency he wants to terminate.