Senator Bill Nelson, FL
June 22, 2010
Senator Bill Nelson has just been with the Coast Guard in Mobile, Alabama and in Pensacola, and he is working to insure that British Petroleum (BP), the U.S. government, and the state of Florida are taking all necessary steps to minimize the impact that this spill has on our shores, our natural resources, and the many industries that rely on our coasts and waters.
The US Coast Guard is leading the Unified Command based in Mobile, Alabama and is coordinating the spill response efforts of the Minerals Management Service (MMS), BP, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the National Parks Service, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, Transocean, and State environmental and emergency agencies. This cooperative effort brings together a wide range of experts from the Federal government, military and private sector to determine the safest and most effective methods for preparing areas that may be impacted, protecting wildlife and the environment, projecting oil trajectory, and planning and executing the response.
For specific details about Unified Command’s efforts, whom to contact if you have suggestions or would like to help, and information on how to report an incident related to the spill and financial reimbursement forms, please visit http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/site/2931/
We still don’t know what ultimately caused the rig to explode, sink, and leak millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf. I filed legislation (S. 3308) that would hold off on any new oil and gas drilling until a joint Department of Interior and Homeland Security investigation is complete and a report documenting the necessary steps to prevent future accidents is ready. My bill won’t shut down platforms currently producing oil, but it will allow us to protect our environment and economy from the risks created by drilling irresponsibly close to our shores until we have answers. Thankfully, the Florida Gulf is protected, by statute, from drilling until 2022.
As we work to protect our State from future damage, we must continue to address the cleanup effort and the financial impact that this will have on Florida’s economy. BP and any other parties responsible for this disaster are compelled to pay for the cleanup, but current law requires them to pay only $75 million dollars in additional damages. These extra damages may include environmental effects and the financial losses suffered by businesses, including tourism, which rely on our beaches, and the commercial fishing industry, which relies on our waters. I filed legislation to raise the liability limit for the responsible parties from $75 million to $10 billion. The oil industry is responsible for this disaster, and I refuse to let them off the hook for the widespread damage that it will cause.
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