Rockefeller Says Restoration Payment Must Be Accompanied By New Legislation to Help Prevent Future Spills

April 21, 2011

USCG Deep Horizon ResponseWASHINGTON, D.C.—Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV issued the following statement today after BP agreed to spend an additional $1 billion for the Gulf Coast region to repair damage caused by the spill. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is under the jurisdiction of the Commerce Committee, will participate in the restoration by working on behalf of the public to fix the damage done to publicly owned resources.

“This is a good step to address the damage caused by the BP oil spill and to begin restoration” Chairman Rockefeller said. “The ocean and coastal economies of the U.S. provide more than 50 million American jobs and contribute nearly 60 percent to U.S. GDP. The recovery in the Gulf will be a long one, and this nation remains unprepared for the next spill, whether in the Gulf or in the Arctic. My coastal and environmental protection legislation would provide NOAA, the Coast Guard and the states with the tools they need to prepare and respond to the worst. Our commitment to safeguarding these national treasures and economic drivers must be unwavering.”

Chairman Rockefeller held a series of hearings last year on the BP oil spill. Following the hearings, he introduced the Securing Health for Ocean Resources and Environment Act (SHORE Act).

The SHORE Act will improve the ability of NOAA, the Coast Guard and the coastal states to prevent and respond to oil spills. It will make sure that NOAA—the agency responsible for the health of America’s coastal waters—is at the table when oil and gas permitting decisions are made. It will also establish long-term Gulf restoration and monitoring programs and authorize a citizen advisory committee to act as a watchdog over the oil and gas industry in the Gulf.

For more information about the SHORE Act, click here.