Senate Passes Gulf RESTORE Act
The U.S. Senate voted on March 8 to include sweeping measures supporting Gulf restoration and land preservation in an amendment to the Transportation bill.
The Senate is scheduled to take action on the full Transportation bill which includes the RESTORE the Gulf Coast States Act, a bipartisan, regional effort to restore and protect the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010.
“This is a moment for hope and healing. It’s the most important conservation victory in a decade,” said Audubon President & CEO David Yarnold. “And it’s only fair that most of the money will come from BP’s penalties. In this country, if you break it, you buy it and BP owes this to the Gulf Coast. And the new dollars for buying precious lands will help us live up to our responsibility to take care of America’s national heritage for generations to come.”
We at the National Audubon Society ask you to take a look at the Congressional decision Tuesday, March 13, to include the RESTORE Act as an amendment to the Transportation bill, a rare bipartisan breakthrough that offers a message of hope and healing in this acrimonious election year.
The RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act would:
- Specifically direct 80 percent of Clean Water Act civil penalties resulting from the oil spill to restoration of the Gulf Coast environment and local economies. This could mean as much as $10-20 billion.
- Distribute resources fairly and equitably to the affected Gulf Coast states, allowing them to launch immediate recovery efforts.
- Ensure that the funds are spent responsibly and for their intended purposes.
- Establish the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council which will develop and fund a comprehensive plan for the ecological recovery and resiliency of the Gulf Coast.
- Provide $1.4 billion over the next two years for the Land and Water Conservation Fund for buying precious lands across America.
The Senate is scheduled to take up the Transportation bill with the RESTORE Act amendment on Tuesday, March 13.
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By Jake Johnson
Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.
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Anger, anxiety, overwhelm … climate change can evoke intense feelings.
"It's easy to feel dwarfed in the context of such a global systemic issue," says psychologist Renée Lertzman.
She says that when people experience these feelings, they often shut down and push information away. So to encourage climate action, she advises not bombarding people with frightening facts.
"When we lead with information, we are actually unwittingly walking right into a situation that is set up to undermine our efforts," she says.
She says if you want to engage people on the topic, take a compassionate approach. Ask people what they know and want to learn. Then have a conversation.
This conversational approach may seem at odds with the urgency of the issue, but Lertzman says it can get results faster.
"When we take a compassion-based approach, we are actively disarming defenses so that people are actually more willing and able to respond and engage quicker," she says. "And we don't have time right now to mess around, and so I do actually come to this topic with a sense of urgency… We do not have time to not take this approach."
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media
Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.
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