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Gulf Oil Spill: States jockey over money

LA may 20 oil
A fight is brewing among Gulf Coast senators over how much money their states should get to cope with the ongoing Deepwater Horizon spill. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) introduced legislation Thursday that would speed up hundreds of millions of dollars of drilling payments four states -- Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas -- are due to receive from oil production off their coasts. A similar bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives.

But Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.) called it "outrageous that Florida would be refused a share of any spill mitigation funds when our state has the most to lose."' The April 20 blowout of the mile-deep well occurred 48 miles off the Louisiana coast, but Gulf currents could eventually wash some of the oil onto Florida beaches.

"I'm happy to work with any of the other coastal states, but right now it's imperative that we get this funding,’’ Landrieu said. 

However, both senators’ efforts to secure money for their states could run into trouble from lawmakers concerned about the massive federal budget deficit. "My answer to them is you're either going to pay a little bit now ... or you're going to pay a huge amount later,’’ Landrieu said at a Capitol press conference. "[Hurrican] Katrina proved that.’’

She added that such states as Louisiana bear the risk from oil production off its coasts "which is being played out in a horror movie right now in front of us'' and should receive the money to protect and restore their coasts.

A 2006 law dedicates a portion of offshore oil and gas revenues to coastal protection and restoration in the four Gulf Coast energy-producing states. Under Landrieu's new bill, The Restoring Ecosystem Sustainability and Protection on the Delta Act, or RESPOND act, funds from new leases would be shared immediately, as opposed to 2017.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has included $68 million in aid to the Gulf Coast in an emergency war-spending bill headed to the Senate as early as next week. The administration has said it expects to recover much of the money from BP.

Congress is gearing up to hold more hearings on the spill next week.

-- Richard Simon in Washington

Photo: Oil washes onto Louisiana's Elmer's Island Wildlife Refuge, a 230-acre state preserve, on Thursday. Credit: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

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Article from Las Vegas Review Journal:

More on the Subject:
The workers who are cleaning up the oil in the Gulf need to be aware of the chemicals that will be used. I am one of the 11,000+ cleanup workers from the Exxon Valdez oil spill, who is suffering from health issues from that toxic cleanup, without compensation from Exxon.

My name is Merle Savage; a female general foreman during the Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) beach cleanup in 1989, which turned into 21 years of extensive health deterioration for me, and many other workers. Dr. Riki Ott visited me in 2007 to explain about the toxic spraying on the beaches. She also informed me that Exxon's medical records and the reports that surfaced in litigation by sick workers in 1994, had been sealed from the public, making it impossible to hold Exxon responsible for their actions.

Dr. Riki Ott has devoted her life to taking control from corporations and giving it back to We The People. If corporations continue to control our legal system, then We The People become victims.

Dr. Riki Ott has written two books; Sound Truth & Corporate Myth$ and Not One Drop. Dr. Ott has investigated and studied the oil spill spraying, and quotes numerous reports in her books, on the toxic chemicals that were used during the 1989 Prince William Sound oily beach cleanup. Black Wave the Film is based on Not One Drop, with interviews of cleanup victims; my interview was featured in the section; Like a War Zone.

Exxon developed the toxic spraying; OSHA, the Coast Guard, and the state of Alaska authorized the procedure; VECO and other Exxon contractors implemented it. Beach crews breathed in crude oil that splashed off the rocks and into the air -- the toxic exposure turned into chronic breathing conditions and central nervous system problems, along with other massive health issues. Some of the illnesses include neurological impairment, chronic respiratory disease, leukemia, lymphoma, brain tumors, liver damage, and blood disease.

My web site is devoted to searching for EVOS cleanup workers who were exposed to the toxic spraying, and are suffering from the same illnesses that I have. Our summer employment turned into a death sentence for many -- and a life of unending medical conditions for the rest of us.


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