Gulf Coast restoration advocacy groups lauded the inclusion of the RESTORE Act in today’s House-passed Surface Transportation Extension Act. Both the House and Senate have now passed versions of the RESTORE Act, which would dedicate 80 percent of the Clean Water Act fines from BP and the other parties responsible for the Gulf oil spill to restoring the Gulf Coast. This Friday, April 20th, marks the second anniversary of the start of the Gulf oil spill, the worst environmental disaster in American history.
“We thank Representative Steve Scalise and other Members of the Gulf delegation, as well as the leadership of both the House and Senate, for making Gulf restoration such a high priority. The time has come to make good on promises to restore the environments of the Gulf region and the communities and economies that rely on them,” said a joint statement issued byEnvironmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, Ocean Conservancy and Oxfam America. “Now we look forward to getting the RESTORE Act across the finish line, and the President signing RESTORE into law.”
The Senate’s version of the RESTORE Act will ensure that penalties paid by BP and others responsible for the 2010 Gulf oil disaster are used to rebuild the economies of Gulf Coast communities that were impacted by the spill and to restore the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, barrier islands, dunes and coastal wetlands that are the foundation of the Gulf Coast economy.
A nationwide poll of 1,006 likely general election voters conducted by a Democratic firm, Lake Research Partners, and a GOP firm, Bellwether Research and Consulting, showed that the vast majority of U.S. voters (84 percent) believe the Gulf Coast—including the Mississippi River Delta—impacts the nation’s economy. Nearly two-thirds of those voters (63 percent) believe this region impacts the economy in their part of the country.