Congressman Steven Palazzo (MS-04) yesterday joined a group of Gulf Coast legislators in a letter to the Department of Justice amid recent speculation surrounding the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill settlement. As part of the recently passed RESTORE Act, 80 percent of the Clean Water Act (CWA) fines paid under the settlement would be divided among the five Gulf Coast states to be used for environmental and economic restoration. The letter expressed lawmakers' concerns over reports of a potential settlement agreement that "disproportionately applies penalties to NRDA over the CWA."
"The purpose of the RESTORE Act was to ensure the Gulf states affected by the Deepwater Horizon disaster are provided with the resources necessary for both environmental and economic recovery," Palazzo stated. "Whatever comes out of this settlement, with this letter we remind Attorney General Holder of our intent, and ask the Department of Justice to respect both the letter and the spirit of the law."
The letter, initiated by U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Mobile, was also signed by Senators Jeff Sessions (AL), Roger Wicker (MS), as well as U.S. Representatives Jeff Miller (FL), Steve Southerland (FL) and Peter Olson (TX).