On June 29th, Congress enacted the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act (RESTORE Act). The Restore Act is a monumental achievement towards restoring the damage done to birds, other wildlife and the environment after the BP Gulf oil spill of last year and all the others that were the direct result of deregulation and a lack of accountability for corporations when such disasters occur. Under the Restore Act, we can now hold corporations like BP responsible for the damage they do to the environment and hold them accountable for restoration. BP will have to pay fines and at least 80% of those fines will be directly allocated to the proper places to restore the region affected, heal the bird and wildlife habitat, and help the Gulf regain its environmental health. This is a step in the right direction making corporations take accountability for their actions, punishing them for their lack of forethought and hopefully, inspiring them to come up with real strategies to prevent such accidents in the future. We would expect NOTHING less from an individual. It is about time we can expect it from a corporation.
From the President of Audubon,1
Implications of the RESTORE Act:
- Each of the five Gulf Coast states will have the financial capacity to begin and complete restoration projects that have long been planned, but underfunded.
- Thousands of acres of lost habitat for birds and other wildlife in the region will be restored, repaired or replaced.
- Much needed re-engineering of the Mississippi River Basin will get a kick start, allowing that ecosystem to begin to rebuild itself, and helping to reverse the disappearance of Mississippi River Delta wetlands.
- Restoration projects large and small, spanning the entire coast of the Gulf of Mexico from the barrier islands of Texas to the Florida Everglades, will receive essential support.
According to Congressman Jo Bonner, â€œThe approval of RESTORE clears a path for hundreds of millions â€“ and potentially billions of dollars â€“ from BP and others involved in the Deepwater Horizon spill to fund local Gulf Coast economic and environmental restoration.”
YAY! Thank you President Obama for signing the Restore Act and thank you Congress for passing it!
- http://www.audubon.org/newsroom/press-releases/2012/audubon-president-comments-restore-act-transportation-bill [↩]