Legislation assigning 80 percent of BP’s Clean Water Act fines to Gulf Coast states most affected by its oil spill has been approved by Congress. The landmark legislation included in the Transportation Bill is expected to mean billions of dollars for Louisiana.
Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu says Louisiana can expect as much as $5 billion, depending on how much BP must pay in fines. It could be as much as $20 billion to split between Gulf Coast states. Louisiana sustained the most coastal damage from the 2010 spill. Landrieu says a bipartisan effort got the bill passed.
“It really is extraordinary that we came together to pass most of the pieces of the Restore Act in two years," Landrieu said. "The average time for a bill of this size and magnitude sometimes can take up to seven years and we did it in two. It’s because we built such a broad coalition of stakeholders.”
Environmental groups are praising the passage. The National Audubon Society calls it “the biggest conservation funding victory Congress has ever delivered." It now heads to President Obama’s desk for his signature.