Statement: RESTORE Bill Would Direct Oil Disaster Fines to the Gulf Coast
RESTORE Bill to Steer Oil Disaster Fines to Gulf Coast Introduced
Gulf Coast Delegation United in Support of Important Restoration Legislation
New Orleans, LA - The Gulf has long borne the burden of our nation's oil dependency, and it's absolutely appropriate for the fines from the nation's largest deepwater drilling disaster to be put to work to restore the ecosystem that has been imperiled by the oil industry. BP's oil drilling disaster has affected the ecosystems and economies of the entire Gulf Coast, and we commend the members of the Gulf Coast delegation for coming together with broad, bi-partisan support for this legislation to restore the Gulf.
Science-driven projects funded through the RESTORE act will jumpstart long-needed restoration efforts in the Gulf. The nation relies upon the wetlands, seafood, wildlife and economies that are in turn reliant upon a functioning, healthy Gulf, and the RESTORE Act will help ensure Gulf is sustained for generations to come. For instance, in Louisiana, BP's fines can be invested in restoring the Mississippi River Delta and the wetlands, which were hammered by oil, that provide natural lines of defense against hurricanes. According to the USGS, Louisiana is experiencing 90% of our nation's coastal wetlands loss, so it's critical we move quickly to address this crisis.
The RESTORE Act is an important step towards holding BP and other responsible parties accountable for the largest oil disaster in our nation's history, and Congress must also act to protect the Gulf and other coasts from future oil disasters. Along with supporting important restoration efforts with the legislation introduced today, Congress needs to establish a Gulf of Mexico Regional Citizens' Advisory Council to help prevent future oil disasters by giving local, impacted communities a role in ensuring oil spill response plans effectively protect the Gulf.
Any portion of this statement may be quoted with attribution to Aaron Viles, Deputy Director