Gov. Rick Perry sees Texas wildfires as statewide emergency. FEMA doesn’t?
In a strongly worded letter to President Obama on April 16, Texas Gov. Rick Perry asked for a federal emergency declaration that would release more US resources – and cash – to fight what may be the worst wildfire season in Lone Star State history.
“I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state,” Governor Perry wrote.
Ten days later, that appeal has gone unanswered, though nearly 1 million acres have burned in the meantime. Last week, Perry asked Texans to pray for rain to stall fires that have scorched nearly 2 million acres since late last year – the amount that had burned in 2008, when President Bush, a Texas resident, declared a federal emergency in Texas on March 15
That picture is from somewhere close to Bowie, Texas, it presents only a small cross section of what Texas is dealing with.
I have had issues with Rick Perry in the past, that’s no secret, I have taken him to task on this blog. Here’s the thing about Rick Perry, love him or hate him, it makes NO difference, when it all washes out, Rick Perry is still a Texan. I have to respect that.
Perry has worked hard to get Texas the FEMA resources and money needed to combat these fires in Texas. Our own resources are stretched very thin, that tends to happen when you’re battling a ONE MILLION ACRE fire, multiple fires actually.
“We expect the [disaster declaration] to be going through approval, but we have not received it yet,” says Catherine Frazier, a spokeswoman for Perry. In the meantime, she adds, “Texas continues to pull all resources available toward fighting these fires, and we’re doing everything at the state level to continue fighting this and ensure that we protect property in Texas as best as possible.”
Waiting on federal resources in an emergency only tends to exacerbate the situation. An example: your house catches fire, you call 9-1-1 and you expect an immediate response, not a song and dance about money and budgets and so forth. Well, OUR house is burning and by God we need some immediate response.
Though the governor of red-state Texas and President Obama are perhaps not the best of friends, there’s no evidence that politics is behind the delay. Moreover, the US Forest Service is fully involved in supporting the Texas firefighting.
Still, some note, North Carolina received a presidential disaster declaration on April 20, four days after a rash of tornadoes tore through that state. Similarly, it took President Bush four days after the October 2007 California wildfires began burning to declare it a national emergency.
Look at the numbers, look at the timeline and locations of the almost immediate FEMA relief put in place by the Obama regime when it was a disaster somewhere other than Texas.
“There’s two reasons why I don’t think there’s any political footdragging,” says Bruce Buchanan, a political scientist at the University of Texas, in Austin. “One, it’s not Obama’s style, and, two, it would be a politically costly thing to do when Americans are in danger.”
Texans are a hearty lot, we WILL survive and move on, bigger and better, with or WITHOUT the help of the U.S. government. Texas can stand on it own. Can the USA afford to be without Texas? We were an independent nation once, we can be again.
Yes, WE CAN!