Target: Rebecca Blank, Chair of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council
Goal: Use fines paid by British Petroleum to restore the Gulf of Mexico
Three years ago, British Petroleum spilled over 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, destroying wildlife and coastal communities throughout the region. This year, activists from the Gulf Restoration Network are asking that fines paid by BP are put toward the sustainable restoration of the Gulf. This is a plan they call the Gulf Future Guidance for Sustainable Restoration.
BP must support communities affected by the oil spill in accordance with the RESTORE Act, an acronym for the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities and Revived Economies Act. The act requires that 80 percent of all BP Clean Water Act violations be paid specifically for Gulf restoration efforts. The RESTORE Act was established so that funds paid by BP related to the Gulf oil spill would be reserved for effected communities. Otherwise, those funds would be paid directly to the U.S. Treasury and used for any other federal purpose. The act was passed into law last year.
Now the only problems these communities face in using BP money for restoration of the Gulf are the whims of local politicians. Paradoxically, some state and local leaders are hoping to use RESTORE funds for environmentally unsound development projects. Thankfully, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council has the last word in the matter. Help restore the gulf sustainably by supporting the Gulf Restoration Network plan.
Dear Ms. Blank,
Thanks to the RESTORE Act, funds paid by British Petroleum in violation of the Clean Water Act may now be used by Gulf Coast communities for restoration projects associated with the 2010 Gulf oil spill. However, many environmental activists and community members fear that RESTORE funds may be used by state and local politicians for projects unrelated to the Gulf disaster. Some leaders have even implied that the money may be used for environmentally unsound development projects.
In the face of such an environmental calamity as the Gulf oil spill, restoration funds must be used for just that – restoration. The Gulf may never truly recover from the effects of BP oil, but let’s at least use BP’s money to do everything we can. The wildlife ecology of the Gulf still needs help. That’s why I encourage you to use the Gulf Restoration Network’s plan, called the Gulf Future Guidance for Sustainable Restoration, to allocate funds for reviving the Gulf.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Kris Krug via Flickr