Urge Congress to Use BP Fines for Gulf Coast Restoration
The BP Oil Disaster and the economic and ecological devastation it caused was another major blow to America's wetlands: the fragile and neglected Mississippi Delta ecosystem.
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation in response to the oil spill, but the Senate recessed for elections without acting on oil spill response legislation.
Unfortunately, as the law is written currently, most of the money simply will be funneled into the federal treasury. The Obama administration rightfully has urged that Congress prevent this unjust windfall and instead directly dedicate the penalties to making the Gulf even healthier than it was before.
You can help: Please urge your two U.S. Senators to vote for pending legislation to dedicate Clean Water Act (CWA) fines to be paid by BP to restore in the Gulf region.
The Obama administration has urged Congress to adopt the recommendations for long-term Gulf restoration contained in a report delivered by Navy Secretary and former Mississippi Governor Ray Mabus.
The recommendations included creating a Gulf Coast Recovery Fund, with a "significant amount" of BP fine money. Under the Clean Water Act, BP will pay a per-barrel penalty for oil it spilled.
Unfortunately, as the law is written currently, most of the money simply will be funneled into the federal treasury. The Administration rightfully has urged that Congress prevent this unjust windfall and instead directly dedicate the penalties to making the Gulf even healthier than it was before. The House has passed legislation that dedicates a portion of penalties from the BP oil disaster to Gulf restoration, but the Senate has not acted yet.
There's no reason to delay. Now that the Senate is back in session, it should act on the President's request immediately.
If Congress can make this happen, we'll begin to see the Gulf coming back to its natural ability to regenerate and heal.It's an opportunity we must not lose.
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