Billions of dollars are at stake for Louisiana as the Restore Act that would provide that amount in the BP oil spill recovery flounders in Congress. The act would provide 80 percent of the oil fines recovered by the government in the spill to the four states seriously affected by it.
Senators and representatives from Louisiana have been working feverishly to get the act passed as part of the transportation bill going through Congress. And they have been reassured by legislators from other states of their support. But so far, passage of the bill has been stymied by opposition to other portions of the overall bill.
Certainly our legislative bodies should be able to devise a way of passing a measure that seems to be favored by the majority without relying on it being in a larger bill that in other ways has no provisions related to the oil spill to guarantee its passage.
Rep. Steve Scalise has said he is pursuing other options with legislators to by-pass the obstructions. And hopefully they will offer a way to clear the deck for passage of a measure very sorely needed to undo the damage done by BP.
Much of the recovery money received by Louisiana is planned to be used for restoring our coast, which in the long run will do more to prevent future damage from oil spills, hurricanes and other dangers coming ashore from the Gulf. It is inconceivable that Congress can delay that process by disagreeing over other unrelated portions of the bill that would provide it.