Poll: 84% Of Florida Voters Want BP Fines To Fund Gulf Restoration

A recent poll found that 84 percent of Florida voters and 92 percent of Panhandle voters support a bill approved by a Senate committee that would ensure the BP oil spill fines are spent on Gulf restoration.

The telephone poll, conducted by U.S. Senator Bill Nelson’s pollster, Hamilton Campaigns, and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio’s pollster, Ayres McHenry & Associates, also showed 75 percent of Florida voters and 82 percent of Panhandle voters are more likely to support candidates who back the legislation.

“Voters haven’t forgotten the BP oil spill was the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history because our ecosystem and economy are still recovering from it a year-and-a-half later,” said Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward.  ”They recognize that the BP oil spill fines would dramatically accelerate our recovery.”

This ongoing recovery must come as a shock to BP, which recently sponsored this nauseating television commercial boasting that 2011 was the Gulf’s best tourism season in years, and encouraging people to make it their winter vacation destination.

The poll is timely because last Monday, 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. In late September, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved the RESTORE the Gulf Coast States Act, (S. 1400), co-authored by Senators Nelson and Rubio. It would dedicate 80 percent of the estimated $5-$21 billion in expected fines for the BP oil spill to restoring the Gulf ecosystem and economy.

However, if Congress fails to pass the RESTORE Act, the spill fines will be used for unrelated federal spending or to reduce the federal deficit. The poll showed that voters favored using the oil spill fines for Gulf Coast restoration instead of reducing the deficit by nearly a 7-1 margin: 79 percent to 12 percent.

Duke University also released a report last Monday concluding the Gulf oil spill fines could kick start the launch of a long-term investment in ecosystem restoration and create jobs that would benefit at least 140 businesses with nearly 400 employee locations in 37 states, including nearly 60 in Florida.

“Members of Congress from both parties have an opportunity to put aside their differences and pass this bipartisan bill–which doesn’t spend any taxpayer funds–and has huge public support,” said Michael L. Davis, Vice President and Principal, Keith and Schnars, P.A., an environmental, planning and engineering consulting firm with offices in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville , and Doral, Florida . “The RESTORE Act will help right the wrong of the BP oil disaster by funding restoration projects that will trigger a value added chain that goes far beyond planning and design firms like mine, benefiting contractors and equipment manufactures as well.”

Related Reading:

BP Sneaks Back Into The Gulf Of Mexico

Scientists Link Mass Dolphin Deaths To BP Oil Spill

BP Pressured For $15 Million To Restore Gulf Oyster Habitats

Image Credit: Flickr – jimgreenhill

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Jan O.
Jan oneal3 years ago

Safeguards were put in place to provide relief for spills and damages to the environment in the gulf, yet the funds supposedly received in fines from BP have not been used to repair the gulf , the environment or the businesses that suffered severe losses due to the spill.
Again, our greedy polititicians have wayland those funds for their own purposes, probably more pork-barrel projects. Pressure needs to be put on every Senator and Congressman to appropriate the funds back to their origin purpose. All Americans benefit from the gulf in one way or another. Let your representatives know you want this issue addressed now.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener3 years ago

I'm in agreement with the Florida voters on this!

Jay T O.
Jay T. Stone3 years ago

Governments and Big Corporations should be made accountable for their actions. Why should tax payers money go towards fixing the solution when these companies make millions of dollars of profit yearly? They are responsible for what they did and they should be the ones fixing it.

Samantha Christopher
Samantha C.3 years ago

Any corporation/business doing work in any enviroment, regradless if it is eco-sensitive or not, SHOULD be made to restore it if their actions caused damage. Corporations need to made to understand that part of the cost of doing business is to take care of the damge they cause when something goes wrong. All too often they skate by because rather than drill responsibly they rather just payout when they make a mistake. But then when something royally goes wrong, such as in the disaster BP cause, they think that with enough time goes by that they can run ads full of lies and that some absolves them of their responisbilities.

The funds should go to restoring the Gulf.

Chad A.
Chad Anderson3 years ago

If you can't pay the fine... you should not do the crime!

Tom Sullivan
Tom C Sullivan3 years ago

No brainer, yes the money should go to the Gulf Coast. But our greedy goverment will keep

Jo Wiest
Jo Wiest3 years ago

They absolutely should pay for their recklessness with the environment.

David Menard
David Menard3 years ago

Well ya they wrecked they should fix it

Victoria Pitchford
Vicky P.3 years ago

that's a good idea, I don't see why not, but I doubt it will since the government gets the fine money

Doris Turner
Doris Turner3 years ago

Watched TV lately? Four Gulf communities have this great ad about visiting and recreation. The very last shot lets us know that this ad was sponsored by BP. Hope they paid the actors well.