By Rep Steven Palazzo
Last week, my Gulf States colleagues and I introduced the RESTORE Act, which would direct to the Gulf Coast states 80 percent of the Clean Water Act fines assessed to the responsible parties. This is an important first step to put in place a fair process that allows us to restore the Gulf Coast region that was directly impacted by the disaster. The RESTORE Act wisely empowers local leaders to direct recovery efforts and address community needs. And I am proud to say, we've united as a coastal delegation in a bipartisan effort to build consensus to best address the full economic and ecological restoration of coastal communities.
Without the RESTORE Act, all Clean Water fines would be funneled into the U.S. treasury and could be used for projects or programs that have nothing to do with oil spill restoration. The Gulf Coast dealt with the effects of the oil spill. It is only proper that the Gulf Coast should receive the lion's share of the fines paid as a result of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.