"Lawmakers desperate to pass the first water resources bill in seven years are facing a $10.3 billion problem."
"That's the latest price tag for the 98-mile-long "Morganza to the Gulf" levee and hurricane protection project championed by the Louisiana delegation for their state's offshore oil and gas hub near the city of Houma.
The southeast Louisiana project was included in the Senate's Water Resources Development Act passed in May, but it wasn't in the version passed by the House two weeks ago. Upon learning of its exclusion from the lower chamber's bill, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), the project's most vocal proponent, who is facing a tough re-election battle next year, marched straight to the Senate floor.
'The people in our state cannot survive without levees, and the country cannot survive without our people living where we do to fish, to run the maritime [industry], to run the oil and gas industry,' Landrieu said. 'There is no way -- no way -- that this WRDA bill is going to go anywhere without the Morganza to the Gulf in it. It's just not happening.'"