BREAKING! Senate Advances RESTORE the Gulf Legislation

Audubon Advisory
March 8, 2012
Vol 2012 Issue 3

Brown Pelican in Flight
The damage from the oil spill happened in the Gulf, and Congress should ensure that the oil spill fines go back to the Gulf.

After months of work, fits and starts, and some late hours last night, Audubon has achieved two huge wins for birds and habitat. The Senate has voted to direct BP Clean Water Act penalty money towards Gulf restoration, and beefed up funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The billions that will go to habitat and restoration will mean more birds and wildlife conservation.
It’s been almost two years since the horrific BP blowout that dumped millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Getting BP penalty money to the Gulf—where it is needed most—has been an obvious but difficult road. Without Congressional action, that penalty money goes to the U.S. Treasury. Today we have that action in the Senate.

The second win means good things for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, newly reauthorized through 2022 and with a strong infusion of much-needed funding—$1.4 billion over two years—for this benchmark habitat conservation/acquisition program, also a long-standing priority for Audubon.

And to pile on even more good news, a handful of bad amendments — including two that would have fast-tracked the Keystone tarsands pipeline — were defeated.  Attacks on EPA and the Clean Air Act and an amendment to push more offshore drilling could not muster enough votes to win either.

Audubon members and activists lit up the Senate switchboard with calls in support of the Gulf/LWCF amendment. The Transportation bill will go to a final vote soon. Look for a breaking alert early next week—our emails and calls can help win that critical vote.

This is an incredibly exciting, pinnacle moment for Audubon and comes from the hard work by loads of people—our wonderful members, activists and chapters among them. Thanks for all you’ve done to get us here; next week we hope to take the next step to seal the deal for the Gulf and a lot of other critical habitat through passage of the Senate Transportation bill!

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