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

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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8:39AM PST on Jan 7, 2012

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.

5:03PM PST on Jan 5, 2012

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

1:37AM PST on Dec 17, 2011

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.

12:43PM PST on Dec 16, 2011

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.

9:01AM PST on Dec 16, 2011

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

9:08PM PST on Dec 15, 2011

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.

8:47PM PST on Dec 15, 2011

THis is all a lie. Money being spent in the gulf are tax dollers paid by you and I. The money spent BY B. P. for clean up and fines are or will be tax deductable meaning they are spending money the government will give them back they may be spending money repairing the gulf but in the process they are not paying the Taxes the People are due. Neglect and polution should not be a tax deduction.

8:29PM PST on Dec 15, 2011

Seems right to me.

8:25PM PST on Dec 15, 2011

I hope the fines are used to restore the eco system in the Gulf States but with this congress I will not hold my breathe waiting for them to do anything that the voters want or expect to be done. This whole ordeal should be making states rethink who they do business with and what the real consequence of their decisions have on their economies. Short term gains does little for long term health of a state or nation.

8:03PM PST on Dec 15, 2011

The whole damned thing is despicable. To think BP paid a fine that the government sits on but never cleaned up their mess. Then they're allowed to drill in another spot down there.

This is sheer madness and a horror against the people who live on the Gulf. I guess the big, powerful corporations are not expected to clean up their own messes. They'd rather raise taxes oon us so WE can do it. My God, and this is civilization?

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