Obama urged to use spill fines to restore Gulf
The point man on the Gulf coast's restoration recommends paying for the cleanup of the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of petroleum industry with the civil penalties collected from companies responsible for the spill.
Billions of dollars will be collected.
That recommendation by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus will be in a report released this afternoon in New Orleans. A portion was obtained by The Associated Press.
"In order to help address the damage inflicted upon the region, dedicated recovery funds are absolutely essential," the report reads.
A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the announcement was not yet made, said the White House has already endorsed the proposal and President Barack Obama will ask Congress to dedicate "a significant amount" to the region's recovery.
The report intentionally doesn't say how much of the penalties should be used, leaving it to Congress.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, and other Louisiana lawmakers are pushing legislation that would require at least 80 percent of the civil and criminal penalties charged to BP, and possibly other companies, to be returned to the Gulf Coast.