Bruce Alpert with the Times-Picayune wrote a great story about Army Corps money in the stimulus package.The Senate Appropriations Committee has included $4.6 billion in money for Army Corps projects. Unfortunately, very little of this money appears to be going to the kind of environmental restoration projects that the Gulf Coast desperately needs. It appears to favor more of the same costly, destructive projects that have characterized the Corps’ past.The largest category in the bill is $500 million for major rehabilitation of inland waterway locks and dams. These projects are among the most costly and often lack economic justification. To make things worse, Congress is proposing to waive the usual cost-sharing provision, setting a very dangerous precedent. In 2008 barge companies received an enormous 91 percent taxpayer subsidy for all the costs of inland waterways.There is an emphasis on “shovel-ready” projects in the stimulus package. In the case of the Army Corps, we have to ask what type of projects are ready to go. I’m afraid what the answer may be. There are a number of wasteful, destructive projects that are “ready to go,” but haven’t been funded in the past for that very reason.Jeff Grimes is Assistant Director of the Water Resources Program for the Gulf Restoration Network

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