As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Saturday, May 02, 2009

"The Boston gig's canceled. It's OK, it's not a big college town."

I'm finding the Ian Faith logic in noted diaper-wearing Senator David Vitter's decision to put a hold on Craig Fugate's nomination to helm FEMA. It's not like Louisiana has any need for a working FEMA director. Not at the start of hurricane season, anyway.

By the way, if you think this is about the Louisiana Senator having serious concerns about FEMA response to natural disasters in the New Orleans area, well, no, it's about flood insurance and development.

Vitter's fellow Louisiana senator, Democrat Mary Landrieu, backs Fugate. She said, however, that she understands Vitter's concerns, which apparently relate to FEMA's maps of controversial "high-velocity flood zones," a designation related to coastal areas that are at high risk in a hurricane or an area that faces significant risk in the event of a flood. Federal regulations currently prohibit FEMA from funding new construction in such zones, and Louisiana officials want more flexibility.

"When we all understand the problems with a particular nominee, we can all work to address those issues," Landrieu said in a statement.

FEMA doesn't actually want to have to constantly address emergencies, and rebuild homes and businesses in areas which might not be sustainable. And they simply don't want to add to the mess by funding new development in areas that will obviously flood again. But development whores like Vitter and Landrieu don't see a problem with it. Some communities are developed enough that moving them is impractical; New Orleans comes to mind. We have to come to terms with the fact that, in an age of climate change, there are certain parts of this country in which it makes sense not to build. That requires political leadership. Which is sorely lacking in Louisiana.

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