Tuesday, February 14, 2012
The Great Lakes Recovery. Scam?
Reported widely yesterday is that the "Great Lakes Area is set to get another $300 million for fighting Asian Carp, cleaning polluted harbors and making progress on other long-festering environmental problems under the budget President Barack Obama submitted Monday".
The headlines should read Obama Throws the Plebs another Bone.
Congress (The Fixer) has appropriated $1.075 billion for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative during the first three years of Obama's presidency. The most recent installment has yet to be spent (Who's got the $300 million then and why isn't it being spent?) But money from the program's first two years has been divided among more than 600 projects across the region, from monitoring beaches for bacteria to researching how nuisance algae might be spreading deadly botulism among shore birds.
During his 2008 campaign, our dear Obamessiah (The Roper) called for devoting $5 billion to Great Lakes restoration over 10 years (a great vote winner with the Green Lobby around here). Fulfilling that goal would require annual installments of $500 million. The reality is that Obama came up with $475 million in his first year in office and then each year since the totals have dropped to about $300 million as the "economic downturn" increased pressure to limit spending (whatever).
Isn't this just how Governments work? Promise everything, deliver something and then when an election is due, fool 'em into thinking we've done them a favor? So, instead of the $2 billion we were really promised over 4 years, we actually got $1.075 billion over 3 years ($300 million of that unspent remember). Should we then expect almost $1 billion for year 4, well no - we've got $300 million, just the same as before. Disappointing all round then? But no, it's how you sell it!
Lets just reiterate the point here - we are going to get $300 million in year 4 - exactly the same as last year and the year before! We've been conned! Obama's promise came up nearly $700 million short. But it's Ok we should be eternally grateful that we got something as times are hard and all that. But hey, why give to the Great Lakes? After all they are only a life giving natural resource that some 40 million souls rely on for their livelihood and their lives. Better off surely throwing Trillions at your buddies down on Wall Street to keep them in Farraris', Coke and Champagne, poor things....
Here's what 2 greenie shills had to say.......
Lisa Jackson, chief of the Environmental Protection Agency (The insider), gushed the following, "maintaining the current level for another year would be a significant accomplishment when many federal programs are being slashed or eliminated." "Some difficult choices are being made in this budget," Jackson said in a phone conference with reporters. But she described Obama's commitment to the Great Lakes as "unwavering" and said the program was getting good results by creating partnerships with state, local and tribal agencies". Phew, that's all right then...
"We're working across agencies to focus on ... real results in the Great Lakes ecosystem," she said.
"The Great Lakes initiative was developed from a wish list crafted over several years by scientists, advocacy groups, state officials and tribal representatives. It identified the region's biggest environmental threats, including invasive species, toxic hot spots, urban and farm runoff and shrinking wildlife habitat.
More than 40 million people rely on the Great Lakes for drinking water. The lakes hold nearly one-fifth of the world's fresh surface water and more than 90 percent of the nation's supply". (A good bit of fear thrown in here for good measure).
"We're very pleased that the president is keeping restoration on track in the Great Lakes," said Jeff Skelding (The Convincer) director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, which represents more than 100 environmental and conservation groups. (Oh yes, sexy science!)
Yes, they are happy and telling us how happy we should be. Well, I'm not happy, we won't be scammed anymore and we're on to you. - The Great Lakes are dying..