It has been three years since the BP oil spill. While thousands of individuals have been compensated for their losses, many citizens, small business owners and Gulf Coast communities are still waiting for a full recovery and a final resolution.
We don't have the luxury of time to begin restoring the environment and economy of America's working coast.
Nearly a year ago, Congress overwhelmingly passed the RESTORE"Act to direct 80 percent of the Clean Water Act fines to the Gulf for ecological and economic recovery. These funds will bring justice to this region and allow us to rebuild the eroding coastline, protect communities from storms and preserve a unique and treasured way of life.
While I am disappointed no settlement has been reached, I am hopeful that the civil trial against the responsible parties will be completed as quickly as possible.
Nickels and dimes are not going to help make our communities whole again—we need serious funding. The RESTORE Act provides us the opportunity to jumpstart our coastal restoration efforts and help get our economy back on its feet.
My efforts to bring justice to the coast are not done.
Last month, I joined Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate's Energy Committee to introduce the FAIR"Act to build upon the unprecedented success of GOMESA and to secure our fair share of offshore oil and gas revenues. In Louisiana, the funds under the FAIR Act will be used for coastal restoration.
The RESTORE Act becoming law is a victory that will allow our children and grandchildren to see what you and I see everyday: America's working coast.
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