Sacramento Bee: Help for Gulf Wetlands Still Vital After BP Spill
A year ago this week, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and unleashed the largest U.S. offshore oil spill in history. While this spill might seem like distant memory, its lessons shouldn’t quickly be forgotten. …
BP has returned to handing out campaign contributions to key members of Congress, but it is being more stingy with gulf oyster fishermen. To protect its coast, Louisiana released fresh water into marshes to keep the oil at bay during the spill. Yet those releases, coordinated with BP, damaged oyster beds. The company has refused to help pay for restoring them, according to an editorial Wednesday in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Congress could send a message to the gulf that, despite its slipshod oversight of offshore drilling, it wants to make things right. One smart step would be to pass bipartisan legislation, led by U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., that would dedicate at least 80 percent of BP’s fines toward restoring gulf marshes damaged by the spill, dredging and canal building. Lots of bad has come from this spill, but perhaps some good is also possible.
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