Gulf editorials endorse RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act

By Elizabeth Skree, Environmental Defense Fund

Newspaper editorial boards and columnists from all five Gulf Coast states have endorsed legislation that would dedicate 80 percent of fines from BP and others responsible for last summer’s gulf oil disaster to restore Gulf Coast communities, economies and ecosystems. The RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act is a gulf-wide, bipartisan bill co-sponsored by nine out of the 10 gulf senators. Here are some of the highlights:


The Montgomery Advertiser:

“It is crucial that members of Congress from Gulf Coast states remain united behind the RESTORE Act. It would be shameful if the states most affected by the BP oil spill did not get the lion’s share of revenue from the fines and penalties to use to help restore their coastal areas.” (“Advertiser Editorial: Senators work together.” Montgomery Advertiser [Montgomery, Al.] 4 Aug. 2011.)


The Gainesville Sun:

“It may be years before the full extent of the damage in the Gulf is known. Passage of the RESTORE Act will help ensure that the Gulf states have the resources to help address that damage.” (“Editorial: RESTORE the Gulf.” The Gainesville Sun [Gainesville, Fl.] 24 July 2011.)

The Tampa Bay Tribune:

“It was encouraging to see Florida Sens. Bill Nelson and Marc Rubio team up on behalf of legislation that would require most of the penalties collected from last year’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill to go toward the restoration of the Gulf of Mexico and bolstering coastal economies.” (“Teaming up for the coast.” The Tampa Bay Tribune [Tampa Bay, Fl.] 23 Jul. 2011.)


The Times-Picayune:

“Gulf Coast senators have finally rallied behind a single bill to commit most of the Clean Water Act fines levied against BP to the states that were harmed by last year’s devastating oil spill. That’s a critical development for Louisiana.” (“An agreement to seek BP fines to restore the Gulf Coast: An editorial.” The Times-Picayune [New Orleans, La.] 24 Jul. 2011.)


The Clarion Ledger:

“After Hurricane Katrina, the recession and the oil spill, the Gulf Coast could use the funds the RESTORE act would provide.” (“Gulf oil spill: Return funds to region.” The Clarion Ledger [Jackson, Ms.] 12 Aug. 2011.)

The Mississippi Press:

“The bill is reasonable because it recognizes the need for economic as well as environmental restoration. It is fair because it gives the Gulf states the flexibility to allocate their funds as needed.” (“There is a fair way to divide the BP fines (editorial).” The Mississippi Press [Pascagoula, Ms.] 22 Jul. 2011.)


The Houston Chronicle:

“Yes, the Treasury really could use the money. But Gulf Coast residents have suffered far more than anyone else as a result of the BP disaster; it’s only fair that the money goes to address their woes.” (“Restoring the Gulf: A bipartisan bill to direct BP fines toward coastal damage makes good sense.” Houston Chronicle 28 Jul. 2011.)