A coalition of Gulf Coast lawmakers in the U.S. House today introduced the RESTORE Act and continued building momentum to secure Macondo spill Clean Water Act fines for coastal states. The bill was introduced by Rep. Steve Scalise (LA-01), and is companion legislation to a bill introduced in the Senate by a coalition of Gulf Coast Senators. Joining Scalise as original cosponsors areRep. Jo Bonner (AL-01), Rep. Jeff Miller (FL-01), Rep Pete Olson (TX-22), Rep. Steven Palazzo (MS-04), Rep. Steve Southerland (FL-02), and other bipartisan Gulf State Members in the House.
"The Gulf Coast Members have been working for months to come together on legislation to ensure that the fines for damages related to the Macondo Spill will be dedicated to Gulf Coast States as we still recover from last year's disaster," said Rep. Steve Scalise (LA-01). "This is an important first step that we're taking in the House to put in place a fair process that allows us to restore the Gulf Coast region that was directly impacted by the disaster. This bill and its companion legislation in the Senate are fundamental to ensuring the continued recovery from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. I am proud to be a Member of this bipartisan coalition representing all five Gulf Coast States, and look forward to continuing to push for the dedication of these fines to those states impacted by the Macondo spill. It is only proper that the Gulf Coast, which dealt directly with the effects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster for months, should receive the lion's share of the fines the responsible parties will have to pay as a result."
"More than a year after Deepwater Horizon turned our area upside down, the Gulf Coast is still recovering from the environmental, economic and emotional scars of this disaster," said Rep. Jo Bonner (AL-01). "While each state was affected differently, we all agree that our coastal community deserves its fair share of the Gulf oil spill fines to be levied as part of the Clean Water Act. This legislation sends a clear, bipartisan message that Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas are all on the same page in seeking access to restoration funds from the CWA."
"The House bill provides the necessary flexibility to allow states to meet their needs in responding to the oil spill's catastrophic effects," said Rep. Jeff Miller (FL-01). "It gives local and state governments the resources and the capabilities they need to restore their economies and ecosystems that were devastated by the Deepwater Horizon disaster."
"This common sense measure simply ensures that the areas that were impacted the most by the Deepwater Horizon incident have an opportunity to fully recover from this tragedy," said Rep. Pete Olson (TX- 22). "While each Gulf state was affected uniquely, we were all deeply impacted by the spill, and today we're standing together to take this important step to making the affected communities whole again."
"Full recovery begins at the local level by meeting community needs. We've worked together as a coastal delegation to build consensus to best address the full economic and ecological restoration of coastal communities," said Rep. Steven Palazzo (MS-04). "The Restore Act puts us one step closer to passing a proposal into law that will provide the resources necessary to overcome the challenges brought by the Deepwater Horizon tragedy."
"I am proud to join my fellow Gulf colleagues as an original cosponsor of the RESTORE Act," said Rep. Steve Southerland (FL-02). "The Gulf region suffered historic environmental and economic damage from the Deepwater Horizon tragedy, and it is my hope that we can help accelerate the recovery of our coastal communities by directing Clean Water Act funds directly to the areas most critically impacted by the accident."