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Jeff Miller’s Response to BP fines, H.R. 1333 the Gulf Coast Economic and Tourism Restoration Act

Dear Ms. Dixey,

Thank you for contacting me regarding federal fines resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  I appreciate having the opportunity to know you

We have passed the one year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; however, the Gulf Coast continues to feel the economic impacts of this event.  Florida businesses are struggling, the real estate market has slowed, and individuals are still looking for work.  The BP claims process has been woefully inadequate, and every week I hear from constituents who are upset with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility’s endless delays and outright denials with little or no explanation.

I firmly believe that BP must be held accountable for the economic consequences of the oil spill.  To ensure that this happens, I, along with Congressman Steve Southerland (R-Panama City), have introduced H.R. 1333, the Gulf Coast Economic and Tourism Restoration Act.  This bill would ensure the fines paid by BP for their mistake would be returned to our area and promote the economies of the local communities still reeling from last year’s disaster.

Based on estimates of the flow of oil from the Macondo well, between $5 billion and $21 billion in fines will be levied on BP and other responsible parties.  H.R. 1333 requires that no less than 40 percent of these fines go directly to the five Gulf states affected by the spill for economic recovery.  The bill also requires each governor to send 75 percent of their allocation to the local communities directly impacted.  This legislation focuses specifically on restoring our Gulf economy by requiring that these funds be spent for economic development or tourism.

H.R. 1333 was referred to both the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and it is currently awaiting further action in the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy and the Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.  Congressman Southerland and I will continue to work with our colleagues to ensure that fines from the oil spill are returned to help restore the affected communities.

If you would like to receive further information on issues of importance to you, please log on to my website at http://jeffmiller.house.gov/.  As always, please feel free to contact my office if you have any further concerns.

Sincerely, Jeff Miller Member of Congress

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