Molly Ivins: Why New Orleans is in Deep WaterQuicklink submitted by Rob Kall Permalink
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|Just plain political bad luck that, in June, Bush took his little ax and chopped $71.2 million from the budget of the New Orleans Corps of Engineers, a 44 percent reduction. As was reported in New Orleans CityBusiness at the time, that meant 'major hurricane and flood projects will not be awarded to local engineering firms. Also, a study to determine ways to protect the region from a Category 5 hurricane has been shelved for now.' The commander of the corps' New Orleans district also immediately instituted a hiring freeze and canceled the annual corps picnic. Our friends at the Center for American Progress note the Office of Technology Assessment used to produce forward-thinking plans such as 'Floods: A National Policy Concern' and 'A Framework for Flood Hazards Management.' Unfortunately, the office was targeted by Newt Gingrich and the Republican right, and gutted years ago.|
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