The Gulf region may be experiencing declines in employment and suffering under the weight of environmental degradation as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil leak in 2010, but the prospect of recovery seems closer than it has in a long time with the introduction of the bipartisan coalition-sponsored RESTORE Act. If properly structured, this act could have a major positive impact on the green jobs sector in the region, benefiting the local citizens through sustainable employment and environmental restoration.
The RESTORE Gulf Coast States Act is legislation that aims to direct penalties paid by BP and others involved in the oil disaster to programs that will direct the communities and local environment specifically. The idea of using these funds for cleaning up the Mississippi River Delta and the Gulf Coast is strongly supported by Americans (83% nationwide).
“The damage from the oil spill was done in the Gulf, so Congress should ensure that oil spill fines go to the Gulf, not to unrelated federal spending,” reads a joint statement issued by Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, Ocean Conservancy and Oxfam America. “This Gulf state agreement paves the way for Congress to do what voters expect: hold the parties responsible for the Gulf oil disaster accountable for restoring the Gulf because our nation’s economy depends on a healthy Gulf region.”
Let’s hope they choose to funnel the money to long-term, sustainable green jobs that benefit the communities for many years to come. Express your support for the bill by telling your politicians that you want to create green jobs with oil spill money.
Image Via Flickr: Editor B