FL Wildlife Federation Pushing State Restoration Act
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A telephone poll by U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio conducted late last year found that an over-whelming majority of Floridians think all of the funds paid out by BP for the oil-spill disaster should come back to the states affected, to clean up the environment.
Steve Murchie, Southeast senior regional outreach coordinator with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), says that as of now some of those funds may remain in Washington, D.C., coffers.
"This is an historically huge blowout, with a correspondingly huge fine, and it's vastly more money than the trust fund needs. It will be a windfall for the U.S. Treasury."
Eighty-four percent of Florida voters and 92 percent of Panhandle voters support a bill approved by a senate committee ensuring that the BP oil spill fines are spent on Gulf restoration.
The poll is timely. Last week, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force issued its final report, recommending that Congress ensure that a "significant portion" of the BP oil spill fines go to restoring the Gulf. NWF spokesman Murchie agrees.
"We don't think the BP fines from the Deep Water Horizon blowout should go to Washington, D.C. That money needs to come back to the Gulf States for restoration."
The Nelson-Rubio surveys sampled 700 registered likely Florida voters in the metropolitan areas of Miami, Orlando, Ft. Myers, West Palm Beach and Tampa. It also includes an overall sample of 100 registered likely voters in the Panhandle region.