New Orleans, La. – Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu stood with Republican Congressman Steve Scalise of Metairie in calling for legislation ensuring Gulf states get most of BP's fines. Landrieu has introduced legislation in the Senate. Scalise says he will introduce a similar bill in the House.
"We need to make it clear very early off, before the amount of money is known, before the money just ends up in Washington in a big grab bag, we want to make it clear that that money ought to stay here along the Gulf Coast states that have been impacted by the disaster."
Landrieu says most of the money would pay for coastal restoration, along with long-term environmental studies.
"There's also going to be an opportunity for us to use some of this money to fund some extremely important scientific endeavors that are happening along the Gulf Coast."
Exactly how much money BP will pay in fines depends on its level of negligence. Landrieu says it could total more than $20 billion dollars. Also supporting the legislation are several environmental groups, including the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, Gulf Restoration Network and National Wildlife Federation.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.