The Oil Is Still Here, And So Are We

Gulf Coast Communities Call for Congressional Action on the Six-Month Mark of BP’s DisasterOn October 20, throughout the Gulf Coast, members of communities impacted by the BP oil drilling disaster gathered together with a unified call on Congress to take action to support the region. We want to let the country know that the Gulf needs sustained and lasting support to get back on its feet, and Congress can help right away. The events were well-covered by the media including – WGNO ABC TV in New Orleans, Mississippi Sun Herald, ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, WLOX TV, Mobile Press-Register, WDSU TV, Mississippi Public Radio, and more.The groups gathered in New Orleans, LA; Biloxi, MS; and Mobile, AL collectively announced the creation of the Weeks Bay Principles for Gulf Recovery, a set of goals and principles that will guide the recovery and restoration of the Gulf of Mexico, our coast and our communities in the wake of the BP drilling disaster. The Principles document was also distributed to lawmakers and members of the administration. At the events, we asked Congress to pass a law ensuring that 80% of the Clean Water Act fines levied against BP, which could total as much as $20 billion, be specifically dedicated to restoration of the Gulf communities and environment. The groups also urged Congress to create a Regional Citizens Adivsory Council to formalize public oversight of future oil and gas development in the Gulf. The communities that bear the burden of the industry’s decisions deserve a seat at the table.Solidarity events in other areas featured students and others calling for clean energy, and all together there were 11 events held throughout the Gulf states.Some highlights from the events included a huge banner in New Orleans with hundreds of handprints from children who have been affected by the disaster, a tour of impacted businesses in Biloxi, and members of the “BP media” covering the Mississippi event.Many thanks to everyone who helped organize and attended these important occasions.

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