Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Vitter amendment emerges from the muck

Mainstream media is finally picking up the news of the Vitter provision inserted into coastal restoration legislation that will allow unregulated clearcuts of cypress swampland.

The Times-Picayune:

Sen. Vitter attached an amendment to the Water Resources Development Act that would restrict the Army Corps of Engineers' regulatory authority over logging in wetlands. He did so at the request of a Mississippi logging company that has tried unsuccessfully to get permits to cut cypress in Maurepas Swamp.

Meanwhile, the Baton Rouge Advocate is spinning the story about the Vitter provision in a totally different direction, making him out as some kind of hero of the environment.

An article ironically titled, "Sen. Vitter working to protect coastal bill":
U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., is trying to negotiate a truce between environmentalists and wetlands loggers, with $1.9 billion authorized for coastal restoration hanging in the balance.

The article quotes 5 Republican legislators (counting Vitter), and one industry spokesperson, all in favor of giving the logging industry free reign to cut down cypress forests, but quotes just one environmentalist.

Further down in the article, Vitter plays stupid (which shouldn't be too difficult):
State and national forestry officials contributed $42,500 to Vitter's Senate campaign; however, Vitter said he wasn't aware of the money amount nor was it a factor in his amendment.


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