Thursday, September 15, 2005


Project Pelican

12:10 P.M. - WASHINGTON (AP): Louisiana lawmakers in Washington have outlined a detailed reconstruction plan for southeast Louisiana that includes full coastal restoration and economic development incentives to brings jobs and people back to New Orleans.
Dubbed "Project Pelican," the plan was developed by all nine Republicans and Democrats in the House-Senate delegation. There's no cost estimate attached to the proposal and it did not address the issue of whether the reconstruction should be managed by existing federal agencies or by a new entity.
Senator Mary Landrieu says an overriding principle of the plan is that the reconstruction should be directed by Louisiana officials and carried out as much as possible by Louisiana businesses and workers.
The plan calls for $20 billion to speed up the repair and enhancement of New Orleans' levees; $14 billion to restore wetlands to reduce future damage from storm surges; and the dedication of a share of Gulf Coast oil revenues to long term coastal restoration and infrastructure redevelopment.
In the economic development area, the plan would provide incentives for employers to hire displaced workers and local businesses. It also would provide loans and tax relief for small businesses in the state, and federal assistance to help state and local governments meet payrolls and restore tax bases.

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