Congressman Jo Bonner, R-Alabama, joined with lawmakers from the five Gulf Coast states in introducing The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economy of the Gulf Coast Act of 2011 (RESTORE Act).
Congressman Bonner joined Reps. Steve Scalise, R-LA, Rep. Jeff Miller, R-FL, Rep. Pete Olson, R-TX, Rep. Steven Palazzo R-MS, and Rep. Steve Southerland, R-FL at a press conference on the U.S. Capitol steps to announce the introduction of the RESTORE Act and the ongoing efforts in the House to secure Clean Water Act fine funds for the Gulf States. Additional cosponsors include the entire Alabama House delegation.
The legislation will ensure that fines paid by the responsible parties in the 2010 Gulf oil spill are appropriately utilized by the Gulf States for environmental and economic restoration, and to ensure our region has the ability to appropriately address future spills and to continue research on the impacts of the oil spill in our environment.
"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," Congressman Jo Bonner said. "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 bill provides the needed resources to Gulf Coast States to start recovery by allocating:
- 35 % of the funds in equal shares to the five Gulf Coast States for economic and ecological recovery.
- 30% of the funds for the development and implementation of a comprehensive restoration plan
- 30% of the funds according to an impact driven formula and disbursed to the Gulf Coast States.
The bill also establishes a Long Term Science and Fisheries Endowment and Gulf Coast Center to which 5% of the funds will be allocated.
The RESTORE Act is similar to legislation introduced in the Senate on July 21, 2011.