"WASHINGTON — In an unusual show of bipartisanship, nine Gulf Coast senators joined forces Thursday to introduce a bill that would require at least 80 percent of penalties from last year's BP oil spill paid under the Clean Water Act to be directed to restoration projects in the five Gulf states: Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama and Texas.
"The Deepwater Horizon explosion was a tragedy that took the lives of 11 men and devastated an already fragile coastline," said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. "While there are many things that must be done to respond to that horrific incident, the Restore the Gulf Coast Act of 2011 is one of the most important things that needs to be done."
Republican Mississippi Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker support the bill, S1400. It would establish the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund; money would come the civil penalties paid by BP or any other entity found to be responsible in connection with the Deepwater Horizon spill. Landrieu said the fund could total between $5 billion and $20 billion in estimated fines."