Reef Relief is part of a coalition of national and regional groups presenting a new poll out today showing deep voter support in Florida and in other Gulf states for environmental restoration.
Poll is timely day after Mabus report recommends BP fines be dedicated to Gulf restoration fund
(Washington, DC–September 29) Nearly three out of four voters (72%) in Gulf region states (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas) say they’d be more likely to vote for federal legislators if they support funding to restore the environmental health of the Gulf, according to a new poll released today. The poll was funded by the Walton Family Foundation on behalf of a coalition of environmental, business, fishing, and anti-poverty groups dedicated to restoring the Gulf Coast.
The poll is timely because yesterday a working group named by President Obama to create a long-term Gulf recovery plan—headed by Navy Secretary and former Mississippi Gov. Ray Mabus—recommended that a ”significant amount” of the penalties collected from BP for this summer’s oil spill should be dedicated to repairing the region’s ecological, economic, public health and psychological damage. While the U.S. House of Representatives has passed an oil spill response bill that directs funding to Gulf Coast restoration, the Senate, even with the elections fast approaching, has yet to act on oil spill response legislation.
The poll by Democratic polling firm Lake Research Partners and GOP polling firm Bellwether Research and Consulting found that–regardless of political affiliation–voters across the Gulf region have a deep commitment to restoration and see it as key to the economic health of the region. In fact, majorities of Independents (67%), Democrats (82%) and Republicans (67%) said they are more likely to support federal legislators who will make new investments in restoration
“This new polling confirms what common sense already told us. Voters overwhelmingly believe restoring the Gulf environment will also strengthen the region’s economy, and make it more resilient when facing future storms or manmade disasters,” said Scott Burns, director of the Walton Family Foundation’s Environment and Conservation Program. “This is a clear message that restoration in the Gulf region is a high priority.
Across the Gulf region, more than two out of three voters (68%) recognize that degradation to the Gulf Coast as a result of man-made activities had occurred even before the recent oil spill, and more than three out of four voters (77%) believe it is important for the federal government to take steps to restore the health of the Gulf region, making this a strong voting issue in the upcoming elections
“This poll shows Gulf Coast senators that restoring the environmental health of the Gulf’s wetlands, marine and coastal areas is both good public policy and good politics,” said Paul Harrison, Senior Director for the Mississippi River at the Environmental Defense Fund. “Gulf Coast voters recognize that it is critical to their economic future, especially for the region’s huge fishing and tourism industries.”
“The people of the Gulf want and deserve a comprehensive plan that creates new job opportunities as part of environmental restoration,” said Minor Sinclair, Oxfam America’s US Regional Director. “The Federal Government needs to invest in the Gulf, for the good of the people who live there and for the nation as a whole.”
Additional key findings of the survey include:
- More than three out of five voters (62%) in Gulf Coast states say they are less likely to vote for federal legislators who do not support funding Gulf restoration.
- Nearly nine out of 10 poll respondents (87%) across the five Gulf states agree that the environmental health of the Gulf Coast region affects their state’s economy very much or somewhat.
- Nearly eight out of 10 poll respondents (78%) favor creation of a separate fund for the Gulf region and the Mississippi River Delta that includes penalty payments from BP for violating the Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution Act.
The full polling information is available at the Walton Foundation website: http://www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org/gulf-region-poll-results
The bipartisan poll was conducted by Lake Research Partners and Bellwether Research and Consulting. The telephone survey of 2,061 voters from all five Gulf region states (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas) was conducted between September 7 and September 13, 2010. The polling margin of error is +/-2.2%.
Tell your Senators: “It could happen again. Plug offshore energy loopholes now.”
The gushing oil well in the Gulf has been plugged and the House of Representatives passed reforms to help prevent future catastrophe – but we can’t say “mission accomplished” yet.
The Senate must still close the gaps in the law that allowed the Gulf disaster to happen.
ScienceDaily (Aug. 26, 2010) — Coral living off the coast of Puerto Rico may provide researchers valuable information about the potential impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
September 10, 2010
Scientists on a research vessel in the Gulf of Mexico are finding a substantial layer of oily sediment stretching for dozens of miles in all directions. Their discovery suggests that a lot of oil from the Deepwater Horizon didn’t simply evaporate or dissipate into the water — it has settled to the seafloor.
A still-smoldering fire that raged out of control for two days at an oil storage facility on the Caribbean island of Bonaire has left residents shaken and wondering how island wildlife, which drives tourism, will fare in the aftermath. And with echos of the BP Deepwater Horizon, they wonder how such a disaster, consuming 20,000 barrels of oil products at a Venezuelan-owned terminal called BOPEC, could continue unabated for so long.
BATON ROUGE, Louisiana, September 7, 2010 (ENS) – In Louisiana alone, there have been 399 reports of health complaints related to exposure to pollutants from the BP oil spill, according to the latest weekly report from the Louisiana Office of Public Health, issued Saturday.
HOUSTON, Texas, September 8, 2010 (ENS) – No single factor but “a sequence of failures involving a number of different parties” caused the explosion and fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig leased by BP in the Gulf of Mexico, the company said in a new report issued today.
Here are two new websites, one on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and one on climate change in Antarctica.
WASHINGTON — A 22-mile-long invisible mist of oil is meandering far below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, where it will probably loiter for months or more, scientists reported Thursday in the first conclusive evidence of an underwater plume from the BP spill.
ST. PETERSBURG — Far from being gone, the oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster appears to still be causing ecological damage in the Gulf of Mexico, according to new findings from University of South Florida scientists.