Wicker presses for $15 million to support oil spill cleanup

WASHINGTON, DC (WLOX) – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, (R) Mississippi, is calling for $15 million to be funneled toward cleaning up the giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The move comes on the same day the Coast Guard hoped to begin burning some of the thickest oil in a massive slick from last week’s rig explosion off the coast of Louisiana.

Wednesday, Wicker pressed for existing appropriations funding from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF) be allocated to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for oil spill planning, research, and response obligations.

NOAA is working alongside other federal agencies to respond to the Deepwater Horizon Incident, stemming from an offshore drilling rig explosion last week. The agencies are working to recover oil that is leaking from a damaged underwater oil well into the Gulf of Mexico at a rate of approximately 1,000 barrels a day. NOAA is the only agency involved in oil spills that does not receive an annual appropriation from the OSLTF.

Wicker joined five colleagues in sending a letter to Senators. Byrd and Voinovich, Chairman and Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, and to Senators. Mikulski and Shelby, Chairman and Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science. The lawmakers asked that the funds be made available to NOAA. The funding transfer would not require an increase in appropriations.