On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon well exploded 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana. The explosion killed eleven men and triggered the biggest environmental disaster our nation has ever seen. Between April 20 and July 18, it is estimated that 250 million gallons of oil were discharged into our environment.
The number of gallons discharged is extremely important, not just to help us understand how much oil we have left to clean up, but also to help the government determine an accurate penalty for violating the Clean Water Act. There is no federal legislation requiring BP's Clean Water Act fines are returned to the Gulf Coast where they belong.
If a disaster similar to this were to happen in your community, there is no guarantee that any of the resulting penalties would return to your community to help with restoration. When you cut your finger, the place to put the Band-aid is on your finger. When an oil company damages the Gulf of Mexico with a major oil spill, the place to put the fines is back in the states along the Gulf Coast.
We need your help to keep the pressure on Congress to make sure that BP pays to restore the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf communities. One year later, the Gulf Coast still needs your help. The BP oil disaster is not over. The oil is not gone. Gulf communities have still not been made whole again.