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Study: Environmental risks could cost Gulf Coast economy

Source: PR Newswire

NEW ORLEANS — A new study says that Gulf Coast communities could suffer more than $350 billion in economic losses over the next 20 years due to growing environmental risks. The study was released Wednesday by Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR) and America’s WETLAND Foundation.

Economic losses could increase up to 65 percent by year 2030 due to economic growth and subsidence, as well as the impacts of climate change.

On average, the Gulf Coast region already faces annual losses of nearly $14 billion. The results of the study were announced in New Orleans during the DELTAS2010: World Deltas Dialogue conference, an America’s WETLAND Foundation-mounted international conference of delta experts.

“Doing nothing is not an acceptable plan. That’s a plan to put Entergy out of business, a plan for misery and suffering for our customers and a plan that would devastate a region already economically impaired,” said Leonard.

The Gulf Coast’s asset value is currently estimated to be more than $2 trillion and is expected to grow to more than $3 trillion by 2030. The study recommends a range of economic adaptation initiatives, such as improved building codes, beach nourishment and roof cover retrofits.

Swiss Re, a global reinsurer, was a lead contributor to the research in the report.

Entergy Corporation provides electric power to 2.7 million customers in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $10 billion and more than 15,000 employees.

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