Apr 28 2010

Shelby Requests Assistance to Protect Coast from Oil Spill

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), ranking member of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee (CJS), sent the following letter to Admiral Thad Allen, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard to request immediate assistance to protect the Gulf Coast from the oil spill predicted to make landfall this weekend.

“It is imperative to proactively respond to the predicted threat to the Gulf Coast,” said Senator Shelby.  “We must posture federal assets in a manner that will protect the most sensitive ecosystems.  The potential disaster looming in the Gulf of Mexico could devastate Alabama’s economically crucial species such as snapper, grouper, red fish, mackerel, oysters, shrimp, crab, and wildlife populations and their habitats, as well as the tourism and recreational businesses that rely on the Gulf.  It is my hope that federal, state, and local officials will continue to work closely together to do everything possible to minimize the negative ecological and economic impacts to our Gulf Coast communities.”

Senator Shelby continues to work with BP, Transocean, relevant federal agencies, and other Congressional members to ensure the response is cohesive and consistent.  In addition, Senator Shelby will work to continue interagency coordination to adequately respond to the immediate and long term effects of the spill and ensure accountability. 


The full text of the letter is below. 

April 28, 2010

 

Admiral Thad W. Allen
Commandant
United States Coast Guard
2100 2nd Street
Washington DC  20593-7000

Dear Admiral Allen,

I am writing to request your immediate assistance to protect the Gulf Coast from the oncoming oil that is predicted to make landfall this weekend.  I am extremely concerned regarding both the short and long term effects the oil will have on the Gulf Coast’s ecosystem and economy.

The potential disaster looming in the Gulf of Mexico, just miles from Alabama’s coastline, could devastate Alabama’s economically crucial species such as snapper, grouper, red fish, mackerel, oysters, shrimp, crab, and wildlife populations and their habitats, as well as the tourism and recreational businesses that rely on the Gulf.  While federal, state, and local officials work to mitigate the threat, I am concerned that, given the announcement that the leak may not be permanently secured for up to 90 days, the effects will devastate the Gulf Coast’s ecosystem.  Once the oil reaches the coastline, regardless of the location, all of the communities in the Gulf will be adversely affected. 

I am requesting your assistance in deploying oil booms and other available assets to the Alabama coast to minimize the negative ecological effects and reduce the economic impact to Gulf Coast communities and businesses.  The potential damage the oil may cause to the Gulf Coast, both environmentally and economically, could cripple the region for years.  It is my hope that advanced planning and preparation will help us adequately deal with this situation. 

I appreciate your assistance in this extremely important situation.

                                                                                                Sincerely,

 

                                                                                                Richard Shelby


cc:   Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA Administrator
       Secretary Ken Salazar, Department of the Interior
       Secretary Steven Chu, Department of Energy
       Secretary Janet Napolitano, Department of Homeland Security
       Rear Admiral Mary Landry, Coast Guard District 8 Commander