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Poll: Bipartisan Support for Restore Act

December 12th, 2011 by flanews

BP is expected to pay fines between five and 20 billion dollars for causing the biggest oil disaster in the country’s history. There’s debate in Washington over how that money should be spent. If the fines are used to restore and protect Florida’s coast it could mean hundreds of new jobs. As Whitney Ray tells us, a new poll suggests voters in Florida, both Democrat and Republican, want the money spent here.

Millions of dollars in gulf coast restoration projects are awaiting funding.

Some projects, like helping increase the population of Brown Pelicans, are connected to the 2010 BP Oil Spill.

Others, like restoring the natural barriers between the gulf and rivers, would help protect against future disasters. But the projects are on hold, because federal funding has been scaled way back.

A new source of funding may be found in fines levied against BP that could reach as high as 20 billion dollars. The Restore Act requires 80 percent of the fines to be spent restoring the gulf.

A poll released Monday suggests an overwhelming number of Democrats and Republicans in Florida support using the fines on projects along the coast.

“When we asked Tea Party Supporters, we expected them to be different, but they were. Also we expected Republican primary voters to be different,” said Hamilton Campaign Pollster Dave Beattie.

A Duke University Study claims every million dollars spent on restoration would create 20 jobs. Terry Hull, the President of an engineering firm that works on environmental projects, says those jobs would be high paying and go to Floridians.

“There are many critically eroding beaches in Florida and I think this act could help fund those types of restoration projects,” said Hull.

Supporters of the Restore Act say the recovery is as much about Florida’s economy as it is the environment… and the BP fines should be used to heal both. Supporters of the Restore act want Congress to hurry up. They fear the issue could get caught up presidential politics and become too political to pass.

Posted in Economy, Environment, Gulf Oil Spill, State News | 1 Comment »

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