The RESTORE Act would ensure that 80 percent of the fines from the BP oil spill last year would go to restore the Gulf region.
EDF Press Release – The Clean Water Act penalties from last year’s BP oil disaster could kick start the launch of a long-term investment in ecosystem restoration and create jobs that would benefit at least 140 businesses with nearly 400 employee locations in 37 states, including more than 260 in the Gulf Coast and nearly 60 in Florida, according to a new Duke University study. The report–“RESTORING THE GULF COAST: New Markets for Established Firms,” funded by Environmental Defense Fund–is based on a sample of 140 firms linked to coastal restoration projects already undertaken or completed.
“Long-term ecosystem restoration would be an economic grand slam because it both protects current jobs in key Florida industries – like fishing, tourism, and shipping– and creates new jobs,” said Jackie Prince Roberts, director of sustainable technologies for Environmental Defense Fund. “A study of Everglades restoration by Mather Economics – based on data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – estimates that every $1 million of public investment in restoring the Everglades would create about 20 jobs. Our study helps Florida residents understand where those jobs can be created, and the opportunity Florida has to be a leader in this new industry sector that provides ecosystem restoration services to the Gulf, and to meet emerging global demand.”
The study’s release is timely because the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday to examine bipartisan legislation, the RESTORE Act (H.R. 3096), that would dedicate 80 percent of the estimated $5-21 billion in Clean Water Act fines from the 4.9 million barrel spill to restoring the Gulf. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee already has approved the Senate version of the bill (S. 1400), cosponsored by nine of the 10 Gulf state senators, including Florida’s Bill Nelson (D) and Marco Rubio (R). MORE