On April 20, it will be two years since the tragic and devastating Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and we are still working on recovery and restoration efforts. We fight every day for a clean energy future, and seeing devastation from an oil spill is particularly painful. Then and now, we mourn the loss of life, the destruction and death of wildlife, and the economic devastation to citizens whose livelihoods depend on a thriving and clean Gulf of Mexico.
Sadly, much of the commercial fishing industry, their families, and communities continue to suffer. The environment is also still badly affected. In the last month alone, we have heard of deep-water coral damage and dolphins reported to be seriously ill.
While BP agreed to pay $7.8 billion in the settlement for property damage, lost wages, and business losses ($2.3 billion for commercial fisheries), still unresolved is the issue of what BP should pay for polluting the Gulf.
Global Green has continued our work to help the local communities recover and hold BP accountable through our New Orleans office and by working with our partner organizations. We joined in the fight for the passage of the RESTORE ACT, which would ensure that 80% or more of the penalties paid by BP for the spill are used to help Gulf Coast communities with restoration efforts to repair environmental damage and boost their economies. It has made it through the Senate.
Staffers from our New Orleans office have joined other local groups to restore the Gulf, including the Restore the Earth Foundation in helping plant thousands of "Gulf Saver" plant restoration bags.
We know these community-building efforts make a difference.
At Global Green, our work helps drive solutions for our coastal challenges, from mentoring emerging restoration entrepreneurs to forging strong collaborations with coastal communities to help restore the coast.
But we need more. We not only do we need the leadership to hold the BP's of the world accountable -- we need to make the promise of a clean energy future come to reality today.