Renewed Push to Keep BP Oil Fine Money in Gulf

BP oil sheen
TAMPA (2011-9-19) -

There's a renewed push to get the fines levied on BP for last year's oil disaster to restore the Gulf of Mexico. The move comes on the one-year anniversary of the day the BP Deepwater Horizon well was declared finally capped.

The political push was outlined in a conference call with Tampa Congresswoman Kathy Castor and former Governors Charlie Crist and Bob Graham.

Graham co-chaired the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, created with President Obama. One of their recommendations was to keep 80 percent of fines collected from BP and other companies found responsible for the Deepwater Horizon disaster to be spent only on projects along the Gulf Coast.

"With the range of money - which would be between $6 and $18 billion dollars - you could make a very substantial down payment on full Gulf restoration," says Graham, "and create a momentum that would give you some hope that full Gulf Coast restoration would be accomplished."

Castor has introduced legislation in the House to keep the money in the Gulf states, and says similar legislation will soon come before the Senate's environment committee.

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