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President Obama, BP's Fines Should Also Help Gulf Coast Residents Create a Cleaner, Greener Future


  • The President Joseph 'Joe' R. Biden


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Dear [Decision Maker],

Mr. President, we need you to lead in creating a clean energy future for this nation that starts with energy and fuel efficiency, advances renewable energy, puts a price on the pollution created from fossil fuels, and ends subsidies of oil, gas, and coal. We also need you to hold BP accountable for the worst environmental disaster in our nation's history.

Mr. President, in addition to full restitution for the impact of the oil spill to the jobs lost, impact to ecosystems, and restoration of all the devastation wrought by the BP Oil Spill, we must also ensure a lasting legacy for a cleaner, greener future.

Let's transform the Gulf Coast to become the Green Coast, and help the region lead America off our addiction to cheap oil.

In the years ahead as the ecosystems and fishing communities continue to struggle, as we require greater regulation of any continued offshore oil drilling, and we change our national policies, we also need to help create a network of nonprofits, cities, and businesses working together to transform the heart of our oil and gas industry to the heart of our green, clean energy technology future.

How? Mr. President, in addition to demanding BP put $20 billion into escrow to pay for restoration and restitution, require BP to deposit $2.5 billion into an independent foundation out of the fines the Justice Department needs to make them pay for creating the worst environmental disaster in US history.

Why? The cozy culture between regulators and oil companies can not continue. Sunshine is the best policy and solution, and nonprofits and local businesses who are not dependent on oil funding as so many are currently along the Gulf Coast are critical to our success.

As proposed by Global Green USA, the foundation would fund environmental, conservation, and clean energy initiatives along the Gulf Coast. On the board of this new foundation -- the Gulf Coast Clean Energy and Healthy Communities Foundation -- should be representatives of environmental groups working on the ground in the region, companies working with clean energy sources like wind and solar, and citizens from each state.

In addition to traditional grants to fund research, technical assistance, and model policy development, Global Green has suggested the foundation should also employ other strategies to help create new green businesses, and clean jobs. To create offshore wind, solar, energy-efficiency products, and other key needs for a sustainable and clean economy, the foundation would invest its principal in businesses and/or other vehicles alone or jointly with cities, states, or other foundations in the region to create these clean, green jobs.

This not only helps the fishing and tourism businesses, but also creates an opportunity for oil workers to transition to cleaner, healthier, less dangerous jobs. The foundation will continue its work in seeding clean jobs in clean industry, creating model green projects in communities along the coast, and other efforts for the years and perhaps decades needed to recover and lead us into the future.

Using less dirty polluting energy, restoring our wetlands, and creating clean businesses will not just help in dealing with the BP Oil Spill. Sea level rise, a phenomenon occurring due to global warming, stands to consume much of the Gulf Coast's shorelines and parts of low-lying communities like New Orleans in the decades to come if we do not act to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

Mr. President, let us not just clean up the mess, let's create national policies that ensure this never happens again. Let us create a greener, cleaner future for the Gulf Coast. Let us empower the great, hard working Americans in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Florida to lead the way in helping end our nation's addiction to oil, and creating a cleaner future.

Thank you.

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