Pushing for Coastal Restoration
I am passionate about protecting our natural resources and restoring our coastal wetlands. In Congress, I continue to make the case that the wetlands are not just what Louisianans rely on to protect us from hurricanes, or how we make our living, or where we spend time with our families fishing and hunting. These wetlands are critical to protecting the country from threats to our energy independence and economic security.
More than 80 percent of the nation’s offshore oil and gas is produced off of Louisiana’s coast, and 25 percent of the nation’s foreign and domestic oil comes ashore on Louisiana roads and waterways. Without a coastline to protect this infrastructure, our nation’s oil supply is becoming more and more susceptible to damage by hurricanes. As we saw after Hurricane Katrina, disruptions in oil production along the Gulf Coast send gas prices soaring.
Louisiana’s ports play a critical role in the import and export of goods worldwide. The Mississippi River carries goods to and from 30 states and two Canadian provinces. The five ports on the Lower Mississippi River make up the busiest port system in the world and every year, two-thirds of the Midwest’s grain is exported along this route.
That is why I secured passage of numerous amendments that will allow Louisiana to rebuild its coastline. These amendments increase the share of oil and gas revenues available to the Gulf States for coastal restoration by $250 million per year, send 80 percent of Clean Water Act fines from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the Gulf States, allows states to use oil and gas royalties for coastal wetlands conservation, and increases funding for critical wetlands restoration projects in our state.
On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon exploded, killing 11 Americans, and eventually spilling almost 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. This tragedy exposed systematic issues in how government and private companies respond to offshore blowouts. I am committed to making sure that an environmental disaster of this magnitude never happens again and I will continue to demand accountability for everyone involved, including the complete cleanup and restoration of Louisiana’s natural resources. I secured passage of an amendment that increases the funding for Bureau of Oceans and Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) to hire more permit reviewers. This $5 million increase will allow BOEMRE to quicken the pace of permit approval, which will make drilling for oil and gas off our coast safer, while increasing the rate of oil and gas investment in the Gulf region.
Additional Resources on Gulf Recovery and Coastal Restoration
State of Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration:
U.S. Department of Interior:
BP Settlement Information Center: