We just got big news from Congress and it's thanks to you! The RESTORE Act, which will dedicate BP's Clean Water Act fines to Gulf restoration, has been included in the larger Transportation Bill that just passed the House and Senate, and is now on it's way to the President's desk!! Thank you for all your phone calls, emails to Congress, donations, petitions signed, events held, and all you've done to make Congress prioritize restoring the Gulf. This wouldn't have been possible without you.
This is a giant step forward for the health of the Gulf, and we're elated to see the country and Congress demonstrate their dedication to this valuable region. Like many policy and environmental victories, this is not the end of the journey. The ultimate success of this legislation will take time and effort to ensure, and we're happy to have your support as we continue working hard to:
- Hold BP accountable. The legislation directs BP's eventual Clean Water Act fines to the Gulf, but there is a wide range of possible fines. We've got to keep the pressure up so BP pays the maximum penalty under the law; and,
- Ensure effective restoration. As the dollars start to flow, it will be incumbent upon Gulf Coast states to make sound decisions about restoration spending. We'll be watchdogging the process to make sure the money is well-spent.
So, take a moment to relish in this hard-fought victory. Together, we pushed Congress to show their support for the Gulf! That's impressive, and that's why your efforts are so important to us.
Aaron Viles is GRN's Deputy Director. You can follow him on twitter here.