Posted by: tylere108 | January 13, 2011

Oil Spill Report Released: A Powerful Call to Action . . . But What’s Next?

On Tuesday the Oil Spill Commission released its final report along with its recommendations.

The document is over 300 pages long (full disclosure: I haven’t quite finished reading it so I am definitely not an expert) and has an entire chapter devoted to policy recommendations that the Commission believes would make oil drilling safer (click here to read the chapter). I say would (and not will) because at this time it is unclear what will happen with this report and these recommendations.

But before I say more about that, I think its worth noting a few of the recommendations that have emerged from this process that are particularly relevant and powerful.

1. The creation of a Regional Citizen’s Advisory Council – This is something that the faith community has been advocating for since the the oil spill begun. We want to ensure that local families and communities are involved in the rebuilding and recovery processes. This Council is similar to what was established in Alaska after the Exxon Valdez oil spill and has been so successful that Alaskans have recommended this to the Gulf Coast.

2. The use of funds – The report recommends that 80% of the fines and penalties paid by BP go back to the Gulf Coast to help assist with the long-term restoration that is greatly needed in the Gulf of Mexico. These financial resources are greatly needed in a time when the Gulf of Mexico and the communities it supports are struggling more than ever before.

Though there are hundreds of recommendations and fascinating research within the report itself, these 2 recommendations are vital to a successful long-term recovery program.

Now how does all this get done? Well, that’s the real question.

Will Congress move quickly to implement the Commission’s recommendations? How do we take these words and turn them into action and eventually an effective long-term recovery program for the Gulf Coast?

As more and more information comes out about the impacts that the spill will have on the long-term health of the Gulf of Mexico, its fisheries and future, it is vital that the US have the necessary resources to meet the ecological and economics needs of the Gulf Coast. God’s Creation and God’s children have suffered enough from this tragedy. It is vital that we work together to turn these words into actions that can help shape a healthy and thriving Gulf of Mexico for future generations.

 

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