20% of $0 is still $0

The Gulf States congressional delegations fight over allocation is jeopardizing money for recovery.I am increasingly frustrated with the continuing bickering that is going on between Gulf Congresspersons and Senators over how to divide the Clean Water Act (CWA) fines that will be paid by BP and others as a result of oil disaster. If they don’t act together fast, the budget office will assume the money can be spent elsewhere, and it will become almost impossible to secure that money for Gulf restoration. Although I know there is concern about how the monies will be divided among the states, if we don’t pass legislation very soon mandating that a percentage of the CWA fines come to the Gulf, the region may never see a dime of that money. At that point, it won’t matter what percentage of funds each state is to get because 20% of $0 is the same as 75% of $0 is the same as 10% of $0. They all equal no money to jumpstart Gulf restoration.Our congressional delegations must take action now. These monies are critical to the ability of the States to address very real impacts associated with the BP oil drilling disaster. We need each member of the congressional delegations of each of the Gulf States to co-sponsor or otherwise support legislation that requires a percentage of the Clean Water Act fines to be focused on Gulf of Mexico restoration and recovery. Congressman Steve Scalise recently introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that, although not perfect, does just that – it requires that a percentage of CWA fines come to the Gulf. We are hearing that a similar bill will soon be introduced in the Senate. We must get them passed.It’s time for Congressional leaders in the Gulf States to pull together as a region.

Scroll to Top