FOR & faith groups call for passage of RESTORE Act
In an appeal to U.S. Senate leaders from both political parties — majority leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and minority leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — more than 100 leaders of religious communities, including Fellowship of Reconciliation Executive Director Mark Johnson, this week are calling for passage of the RESTORE Act (Senate Resolution 1400).
The bill focuses on the urgent need for investment to address the economic and environmental devastation to the Gulf Coast region in the U.S. Southeast. Noting that the region suffered the largest oil spill in U.S. history almost two years ago, when BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig collapsed in the spring of 2010, the letter’s signatories appeal on Congress to help “restore Gulf States economies, communities and God’s creation.”
The letter notes that the U.S. Clean Water Act could collect some $21 billion in fines against the parties responsible for the spill, but that the majority of those funds would not support the needs of the communities most affected by the disaster. It says:
Restoration projects that would be funded under this bill can help to protext communities, restore ecosystems, revive the tourism and fishing industries, and create tens of thousands of jobs as residents rebuild and diversify their economy. This bill encourages policies to help Gulf Coast workers and businesses compete for economic opportunities and fund training programs which could help families impacted by the spill to find good paying livelihood opportunities in ecosystem restoration, helping families maintain economic self sufficiency, while protecting our precious resources and environment for all Americans.
To read the full letter and see the list of signatories, open the attached PDF document.