RESTORE Act is unfinished business for the Gulf Coast

IN THE category of Unfinished Business of 2011, one matter stands out among the rest: Congress has yet to give final approval to the RESTORE Act, which would direct 80 percent of the BP fines under the Clean Water Act to the Gulf Coast.

If Congress does not approve the measure, the money will go into federal coffers instead.

Sadly, too many people consider this bipartisan measure a regional issue, which could be one reason it has not passed quickly. If it is viewed as it should be, though — as a matter of national importance — then the RESTORE Act will demand Congress’ immediate approval in 2012.

Truth is, the Gulf of Mexico and its resources are a national treasure shared by citizens of all states, not just the five states bordering the Gulf. The families and businesses located along the coast are the caretakers of that treasure, and the fines paid by BP could help them do their job better.

Mississippi Press
1/1/12