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Sinking into the Sea  |  An Unlikely Activist  |  The Plan to Save the Coast  |  Hurricane Risk for New Orleans


Banker and activist King Milling. Photo: Photo: William Brangham/NOW with Bill Moyers

PART II      Page  1  2  3  4  5

An Unlikely Activist

  Listen (Real Audio, 12:32 min)  |  Printable Version

Scientists and environmentalists have been warning about the destruction of Louisiana's coast since the 1960s, but it's been hard to get anybody that "matters" to care until recently.

The Greatest Wetlands on Earth

Roswell King Milling is probably one of the last people in Louisiana who you would expect to fight for the environment. People call him, "King." He's president of one of the oldest banks in the South. He's modest about it.

"We're a $7 billion bank," explains Milling, "which in today's world is not a large bank.

"Well, I mean, it's large for us."

When he walks across the marble floors at headquarters in New Orleans, Milling looks like a Hollywood version of old money. He's tall and gracious. He has a dazzling white mane.

"How you doin'?" he calls out. "Fine-thank-you-an-yourself."

King Milling is a friend of the governor. He was king of Mardi Gras. There's a whole town named after his family. And before he took over the Whitney National Bank, Milling was one of the most powerful lawyers for the oil and gas industry.

"Hey McMan, how ya doin'?" Milling asks.

Next: A Banker's Crusade