Backgrounder posted September 4, 2013
Department of Justice Uses Decades-old Court Order to Squash Educational Opportunity in Louisiana
On August 22, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, asking a judge to stop the state of Louisiana “from awarding any school vouchers…to students attending school in districts operating under federal desegregation orders.” DOJ alleges that the Louisiana Student Scholarships for…
WebMemo posted August 9, 2010
Critical Lessons from the Federal Response to the Gulf Oil Spill
From July 30 to August 2, the authors of this report visited the Gulf Coast to better understand the federal response to the oil spill. This trip revealed several lessons that, if learned, would dramatically improve the federal government’s ability to respond to future Spills of National Significance.
Politics and a Proposal for a Unified Response
WebMemo posted July 14, 2010
A Rational Post-Spill Policy That Allows Offshore Drilling
The people of Louisiana are speaking loudly and clearly as to what they want in response to the oil spill. Louisianans are the ones bearing the brunt of the environmental and economic damage from Deepwater Horizon, yet they overwhelmingly support continued offshore oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico. Even Louisiana fishermen and shrimpers harmed by the spill…
Special Report posted June 15, 2010
Stopping the Slick, Saving the Environment: A Framework for Response, Recovery, and Resiliency
On April 20, 2010, the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in a massive, continuing release of underground oil. Washington must develop a comprehensive response to the crisis that mitigates damage, promotes economic and environmental recovery, and delivers solutions to ensure resiliency in the face of…
WebMemo posted May 18, 2010
The Federal Response to the Oil Spill: Lessons to Be Learned
America’s current system for responding to oil spills was largely shaped by the reaction to the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker spill off Alaska. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 set up new procedures for offshore cleanups, one significant change being that the federal government, led by the U.S. Coast Guard, was put in charge of such activities.
The Deepwater Horizon spill…
WebMemo posted May 12, 2010
Gulf Coast Oil Spill: Does the Federal Government Share Responsibility?
BP has correctly received most of the blame for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. As the contractor of the rig, there is little question that BP is responsible for the accident. However, reports of federal regulatory exemptions and passed safety inspections should raise questions about the federal government’s responsibility and the role of regulation.
WebMemo posted May 5, 2010
Gulf Oil Spill: Washington’s Response Should Not Preclude Future Exploration
America’s most serious offshore oil spill in 20 years is currently unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico, and massive cleanup efforts are underway to cap the leak and contain the oil. This comes at a time when Washington had been considering expanding domestic oil production, including the Gulf and other offshore areas.
For the most part, President Obama’s initial…
Backgrounder posted April 13, 2010
Federalizing Disasters Weakens FEMA--and Hurts Americans Hit by Catastrophes
Abstract: The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been responding to almost any natural disaster around the country, be it a contained three-county flood, or a catastrophe of near-epic proportions like Hurricane Katrina. As a result, many states and localities have trimmed their own emergency-response budgets, often leaving them ill prepared to handle even…