As BP settlement talks heat up, groups call for full accountability, restoration
February 28, 2012 | Posted by Delta Dispatches in BP Oil Disaster, RESTORE Act

News broke Sunday (Feb. 26) that U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier had delayed the start of the trial over the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster till March 5. The judge postponed the trial to allow more time for settlement negotiations among the parties.

If parties reach a settlement, the settlement must hold BP and the other responsible parties fully accountable for the magnitude of the disaster they caused, and it must ensure that penalty dollars come back to restore the region that was harmed by the disaster.

Photo credit: Yuki Kokubo, www.yukikokubo.com

The gulf oil spill is the largest offshore oil disaster in history. The clean-up and restoration will continue for decades, and the full scale of damage won’t be known for years. To this day, oil persists in the environment and continues to wash ashore. The clean-up and recovery must not be shortchanged.

Furthermore, the fines and penalties must go toward restoring the region that was harmed by the disaster rather than being diverted to unrelated federal spending. The RESTORE Act, currently under consideration in the Senate, lays out a framework for restoration of the gulf. We support that legislation and urge those considering settlement to draw on the RESTORE Act for guidance.

An overwhelming majority of American voters – more than 80 percent – expect BP’s fines to be used to restore areas damaged in the disaster. It’s a matter of simple fairness that unites voters of every political persuasion from all across the country. And voters understand the importance of the gulf to U.S. energy independence, to commercial fishing, to wildlife, to tourism and to jobs.

Any settlement deal must hold polluters accountable and direct dollars toward restoration. Anything less means that taxpayers will be making up the difference for years. And that’s simply unacceptable.

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One Response to As BP settlement talks heat up, groups call for full accountability, restoration

  1. Bruce Neely says:

    When we can think like an ecosystem, when we allow rivers to part and run around us unimpeded rather than try to confine them to our choice of route, only then will we understand how damaging our activities in the gulf have been. The Mississippi River built the Mississippi Delta from the soils of the heartland, and we have robbed her of that fine material. Now the ceaseless waves of the Gulf rob the remainder of what is left. Do not let BP off the hook and do not fail to continue the fight to restore what has been lost, as far as is possible!

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