The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works committee approved a bipartisan bill to dedicate fines paid by BP and other parties responsible for last year’s Gulf of Mexico oil disaster to Gulf Coast restoration.
“This is a victory for common sense," said Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold; "You break it, you buy it – and BP's recklessness should be turned into a long-term benefit for America's Gulf Coast. The region has been punished enough. It's time to rebuild the wetlands, the river systems and the way of life that is an American treasure. Now it's up to Congress to pass this bipartisan measure that restores our precious natural resources and creates and protects American jobs.”
The legislation would ensure that penalties paid by BP and others responsible for last year’s Gulf oil disaster are used to restore the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, barrier islands, dunes, coastal wetlands, and economy of the Gulf Coast; and the economies of communities and the region that were impacted by the spill.
The next step will be to get a similar bill introduced in the House with broad bi-partisan support and to work with our Senate champions – the 9 Gulf State co-sponsors – and Senate leadership to get this bill through the full Senate and enacted into law.
The Brown Pelican, only recently removed from the Endangered Species List, is now at risk because of contaminated food sources and degraded habitat. If Congress does not enact the legislation, the money will be spent without regard to the needs of the people and the communities of the Gulf Coast region who suffered as a result of the spill.
See our Gulf Oil Spill Press Room