Gulf Coast lawmakers hope President Barack Obama will use his address to the nation tonight to support a bill that would send most of the fines collected from the BP oil spill to the region for restoration efforts.
“You always like to get mentioned in the State of the Union. It really puts you at a special level,” said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., a key sponsor of the bill. “But we’re not going to be disappointed if he doesn’t (mention the bill). We’re just going to continue to work as hard as we can” to pass the legislation.
Gulf Coast lawmakers said it would send a strong signal if Obama publicly supports the measure, which would steer 80 percent of the fines collected from the BP oil spill to restoration efforts in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Lawmakers estimate the fines could total $5 billion to $20 billion.