WASHINGTON, DC – Monday, April 20, 2015 – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today released the following statement on the five year anniversary of the 2010 oil spill:
“Five years ago, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig led to one of the most devastating environmental and economic disasters that the Gulf Coast has ever seen. As we reflect on the oil spill today, it is important to remember the resilience of Alabama’s coastal communities and reaffirm our commitment to a full recovery.
“The RESTORE Act, which was signed into law in 2012, gives unprecedented flexibility to coastal communities directly affected by the oil spill so that funds can be used towards both environmental restoration and economic recovery. It also allows the states and communities impacted – not federal bureaucrats – to control of the bulk of the Clean Water Act fines assessed against BP. After litigation with BP concludes, I will closely monitor how the fines assessed are allocated to ensure that Gulf Coast states receive 80 percent of civil penalties paid by BP under the Clean Water Act as outlined in RESTORE Act.”
Senator Shelby co-authored the RESTORE Act with former Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.). Absent the RESTORE Act, Clean Water Act fines resulting from the oil spill would have been directed to the U.S. Treasury, not to the local communities impacted. President Obama signed the bill into law on Friday, July 6, 2012.