Over two million acres have been burned in Texas in wildfires that stretch from “border to border.” Two firefighters have already died. The effort to get the fires under control threatens to overwhelm the state, but the Obama administration has thus far refused to declare Texas a federal disaster, a declaration that would allow more resources to flow into the state to fight the fires. How urgent is this for Texans? Rep. Francisco Canseco (R-TX) put together a video demanding action, and Governor Rick Perry tweeted it out last night with this message to his followers : “Welcome Obama to Texas. Up the pressure on denied disaster relief.”
Critics might be tempted to point out that Texans like their 10th-Amendment independence, but Texans also fork over a lot of tax revenue that funds federal disaster relief, too. With over 2.2 million acres destroyed already — which equates to over 3400 square miles, or roughly seven times the size of Los Angeles, 50 times the size of DC, and three times the land area of Rhode Island — a federal declaration of disaster seems warranted, and the real question is why Barack Obama hasn’t acted.