Senator Marco Rubio Deepwater Horizon oil spill Impact Continues On Florida’s Gulf Coast
Dear Mrs. Dixey,
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster, and the impact it continues to have on Florida’s Gulf Coast. I would like to take this opportunity to address your concerns.
Since the tragic explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, Florida’s Gulf Coast communities have faced unprecedented challenges. The oil released into the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion has caused extensive damage to the marine and wildlife habitats throughout the region, and has also had a devastating impact on the fishing and tourism industries.
While I am encouraged by progress being made through ongoing recovery efforts, there is still a great deal of work to be done. The parties responsible for the economic and environmental devastation along the Gulf Coast should be held accountable, and should continue to provide the resources needed to support long term recovery efforts.
As a Floridian, I understand the importance of our coastal communities, and I value their contribution to the state’s economy and ecological diversity. It is with that in mind that in July 2011 I joined a number of my Senate colleagues in sponsoring the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2011 (RESTORE Act, S.1400). This legislation seeks to restore the wildlife habitats, beaches, and coastal wetlands of Gulf Coast States, as well as create jobs and revive the economic health of communities adversely affected by the oil spill.
The legislation introduced last July represented an important step to restore the economies and ecosystems in the Gulf. However, the RESTORE Act proposal attached to the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act ( Amdt . 1822 to S. 1813) was far different than the one I proudly supported last July. I am disappointed to see what started as a genuine bipartisan effort to dedicate the largest possible quotient of BP fine money towa rd Gulf Coast restoration turn into a raw deal that will increase taxes, create a new environmental bureaucracy, and potentially route money to places like the Great Lakes and West Coast which had nothing to with the oil spill. I remain dedicated to ensuring the communities, businesses, and families along the Gulf Coast fully recover from the Deepwater Horizon tragedy, but could not vote in favor of this amendment, which represents the classic Washington back-room deal filled with special interest projects driven by the usual ‘what’s in it for me’ Washington mentality.
Let me be clear, I continue to support legislation that will direct the BP fine money to the Gulf Coast States and will continue to work with my colleagues to pass the legislation I cosponsored in July. I am confident that through my continued involvement, Florida’s Gulf Coast will recover from this disaster. I will continue to monitor ongoing developments, and will remain mindful of your concerns as we address legislative solutions to promote restoration and recovery in the Gulf region.
Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. It is an honor and privilege to serve the people of Florida. If I can be of any further help to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Sincerely, Marco Rubio United States Senator