A key Senate committee has approved legislation, introduced by Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Democrat from Louisiana, that will direct a significant portion of federal fines paid by BP for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to Mississippi and other Gulf Coast states. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee reported S.1400, the Restore the Gulf Coast Act, out of committee. The legislation now goes to the floor for consideration by the full Senate. Sen. Thad Cochran, a Mississippi Republican and a co-sponsor of the bill, had this to say:
The Deepwater Horizon tragedy will continue to affect Gulf Coast states for some time. This carefully negotiated measure is intended to ensure that Mississippi and the other states have resources to overcome those ecological and economic challenges. Communities on the Gulf Coast were directly impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the Clean Water Act fines that will be assessed should go to help those communities. Members across the Gulf Coast developed a balanced solution. I urge Senators on the committee to approve this important legislation.
The Senate bill would establish the Gulf Coast Restoration Fund to be made up of 80% of all civil penalties paid by BP and other parties held responsible for the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. The fund would be distributed to Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida and Texas. The remaining 20% of the fines assessed for Clean Water Act violations would revert to the U.S. Treasury. The bill follows the recommendations of Gulf Coast restoration groups following the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy.
Source: Insurance Journal
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