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Coast protection is energy security

September 08, 2008

Re "Gulf oil complex is spared the brunt," Sept. 2

One lesson from recent storms in the Gulf of Mexico should be that the protection of coastal residents and our domestic energy supply is tied to healthy wetlands and coastal areas.

Because of eroding wetlands, moderate storms retain their strength, pounding infrastructure and communities and causing tremendous stress to an intricate system that supplies Americans with energy and water-borne goods. The network of refineries that line the Mississippi River, the pipelines for fuel and the transportation routes for commerce to 31 states are all vulnerable.

If we cannot repair our natural landscape, it means an uncertain future and higher costs for all.

The need for the Gulf region and all Americans to speak with one voice in Washington has never been greater. This is not an issue that can take a back seat to partisan politics. With each hour, the equivalent of a football field of land is lost to the sea. The time to shore up the coast to fuel our nation is now.

R. King Milling

Chairman, America's

Wetland Foundation

New Orleans

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