Gulf Coast Restoration Act Introduced in the House
On January 5, 2011, Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) introduced the "Gulf Coast Restoration Act" (H.R. 56), which would provide for restoration of the coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Specifically, the bill would establish a Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force. The Task Force Chair, to be appointed by the President, would be charged with reviewing and approving or disapproving State Coastal Ecosystem Restoration Plans submitted by the Governors that provide for the restoration of the Gulf Coast ecosystem. The bill would also require that at least 80 percent of the fines assessed to BP under the Clean Water Act be directed to Gulf States for the purpose of coastal and ecosystem restoration. The full text of the bill is available online at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr56ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr56ih.pdf.
Oil spill panel gives lawmakers a get-tough safety guide
"We'd submit this as Exhibit No. 1 in the argument against those who would continue to suggest that the industry ought to be allowed to regulate itself. If there was ever an activity that called out for considerable federal oversight, drilling for oil in public waters would have to be near the top of the list. And if there were those who had somehow thought otherwise in the past, the Gulf disaster ought to have quickly disabused them of that notion. For the small handful of folks who still didn't get the message - some of them Republicans in Congress - the blame-game response to the recent study should have sealed the deal. Sadly, it didn't, as there were some industry apologists who dismissed the report as needlessly intrusive. They must have really enjoyed the Gulf disaster, because doing nothing new will almost certainly ensure an encore somewhere soon enough."
Gulf oil spill creates economic boom for some, bust for others
"The main cities closest to the path of the oil spill, New Orleans and Mobile, benefited from a flurry of activity during the 100 days of intense national focus on capping BP's gushing well and on cleaning the spilled crude.
But right across Mobile Bay, in Baldwin County's popular Orange Beach and Gulf Shores resorts, there were huge tourism losses. Orange Beach hotel and condominium occupancy was cut in half from 2009. Lodging revenues countywide were off by $58 million, according to Alabama's Coastal Recovery Commission."
Scott: No Offshore Drilling Off Florida's Coast Until It's Safe
"Neither of us wants any drilling until we are very comfortable that it is safe," Scott told reporters after the meeting. "We can't' afford the environmental damage or the economic damage for our state."
Wait, let me get this straight -- the company responsible for the biggest environmental disaster in U.S. history has been given a permit that could lead to new deepwater drilling off the south coast of Australia -- and this is after Australia had its own offshore drilling disaster in 2009. Understandably, there is negative reaction to this decision. See below.