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ALERT: Expertise Needed on Hurricane Katrina and its Effects on Oil Supplies

(Posted 9-02-05)

This update was originally sent out as an e-mail message to AGI's member societies.

IN A NUTSHELL: Hurricane Katrina has devastated the Gulf Coast from Alabama to Louisiana, and Congress is starting to address relief and restoration efforts as well as questions about why the disaster was so catastrophic. Over the next few weeks, Congress is expected to approve 2 to 3 supplemental spending bills to help the Gulf Coast. They will also likely hold hearings about the hurricane in the coming months. Already scheduled for next week are hearings on the high price of gas, and Congress may schedule more hearings on oil and gas supplies affected by the hurricane. We would like to offer policymakers and their staff expert scientific advice about the hurricane and its effects on oil supplies from AGI’s Member Societies. Please contact us, if you know of someone who could provide such expertise and please feel free to forward this message to others.


Hurricane Katrina has devastated the Gulf Coast from Alabama to Louisiana and disrupted oil production, refinement and distribution from the Gulf Coast. Congress is now working on emergency supplemental legislation to provide relief to the area. They are also likely to hold hearings to discuss the causes, frequency and tracking of hurricanes, hurricane warning systems, the specific vulnerability of New Orleans (that is, its subsidence, levee system, and lack of natural protection due to coastal erosion), how to restore New Orleans and other coastal communities and the best approaches to mitigating future hurricane damage. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 included $1 billion for coastal restoration to help reduce the damaging effects of hurricanes, but there is likely to be much more discussion about coastal erosion and coastal restoration in the coming weeks.

Congress has also become increasingly concerned about the rising price of oil, even before Hurricane Katrina struck the coast. Two hearings about oil prices are scheduled for next week. The hurricane has exacerbated the problem of supply not keeping up with demand and Congress is likely to hold additional hearings about our oil supplies and distribution.

AGI’s Member Societies have the expertise to help inform Congress about the most effective policy approaches to hurricane mitigation. If you know of someone with expertise in understanding the causes and effects of hurricanes, building levee systems, or understanding the causes and effects of subsidence and coastal erosion, please contact us.

AGI’s Member Societies also have the expertise to help inform Congress about our oil and gas supplies and distribution system. If you know of someone with expertise in offshore oil and gas production, particularly in the Gulf, oil and gas reserves, oil and gas pricing, refineries, oil and gas distribution or protecting our energy infrastructure from natural hazards, particularly hurricanes, please contact us.

We would like to develop a list of experts, who congressional members or their staffers could contact for information and education about the science behind these issues. Experts may be asked for information by telephone or email from a staffer. If appropriate, an expert may be asked to come to Washington DC to discuss these issues with Members or staffers, to testify before a committee or to speak at an event designed for policymakers.

If you know of a colleague with specific expertise in the areas mentioned above who can help inform policymakers, please send us their full contact information and brief description of their work and credentials.

Now is the time to provide sound science and accurate information to policymakers so they can develop sound policy.

Please contact Linda Rowan at or 703-379-2480 x228 as soon as possible if you can help.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Alert prepared by Linda Rowan, AGI Director of Government Affairs

Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Government Affairs Program.

Posted September 2, 2005

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