Did you see or hear about this Anderson Cooper interview with Doug Brinkley last night?
Brinkley says he's got admin sources talking about unveiling a massive Gulf Coast Recovery Act? It sounds too good to be true. I haven't seen any other press reporting on it or confirming Brinkley. A massive public works project to rebuild coastline and related infrastructure has been desired above all else in S. LA since before Katrina and especially since. I can think of nothing that would be more meaningful to these communities. Even if Brinkley was jumping the gun, it would be a massive help to at least get a discussion going on something like this.
BRINKLEY: Well, I mean, there are three things, I mean, I think, big baskets, going on.
One is close that well, get the -- capture as much oil as you can, keep the pressure on BP on the relief wells. Second is immediate cleanup. And I think more can be done by the Obama administration. And I -- and but I think the big third piece is coming, when President Obama comes to Florida and Alabama and Mississippi, and that is holding BP responsible for the Natural Resource Damage Act, for the Oil Spill Response Act. And, by that, I mean BP is going to end up paying somewhere from $10 billion to $15 billion, maybe even $20 billion, because they're going -- one of the only ways to save the Louisiana wetlands is going to be -- you know, the Mississippi River has been channelized for navigation.
Well, now the Mississippi River has to be redirected. It's going to have to be flooded and sediment pumped into these marshlands to save it. I think the Obama administration...
COOPER: So, no, wait. No, wait. Doug, is this just a hope on your part?
COOPER: Or -- I mean, I know you have been talking to sources. Do you believe this is actually going to happen?
BRINKLEY: Yes. Yes.
And it's one of the reasons why the president is not talking to Tony Hayward. And they are going to come out with a large Gulf recovery act, because the oil and gas industry has been dredging. We have disappearing barrier islands. For 40 years down there, it's abused the wetlands.
This is a turning point. There is an appetite on Capitol Hill for Gulf recovery act. The Mississippi River is going to have to be redirected into the marshlands. And BP and Transocean and other, you know, operations, Cameron, other companies are going to have to pay up to $10 billion and $15 billion for breaking national acts.
BRINKLEY: In addition, for offshore drilling in the Gulf, Anderson, there will be a conservation excise tax that, yes, there will be offshore drilling, but Louisianians will start getting some of the revenue to stay in state.
CARVILLE: If -- if the president does that, I will be the biggest supporter in the world. He will be beloved in Louisiana.
If he -- if he has a restoration act and the kind of things that Doug Brinkley is talking about, who Doug, by the way, lived here. His wife is from here. He knows exactly what he is talking about. If there is that kind of action from the White House and this president, he will go down, in my opinion, as one of the great presidents in history.
And I have not hesitated to criticize him. But if that kind of action is -- that -- that kind of thing starts to happen, that's going to be a very encouraging sign for South Louisiana, and for the country, too.
COOPER: Doug, I mean, what percent -- I mean, you -- you -- you're saying this based on people you have talked to?