Mabus Reaches Out to Cao for Support and Cooperation on Federal Spill Response

June 22, 2010

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao (LA-02) talked by phone with President Obama’s new point man for developing a long-term Gulf Coast restoration plan following the BP oil spill.

U.S. Navy Secretary and former Mississippi Governor Ray Mabus called Cao this afternoon to solicit the Congressman’s support and cooperation.

Cao pledged his cooperation and stressed the importance of taking positive steps, including a partial lifting of the Administration’s six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling to allow companies to drill without actually tapping reservoirs, thus keeping Louisiana’s oil and gas industry safetly afloat while safety protocols are under review.

Cao urged Mabus to support his call for accelerated oil revenue sharing on deepwater leases issued after December 20, 2006. Gulf Coast states are not scheduled to begin collecting 37.5% of royalties on those leases until fiscal 2017. Cao wants the date moved up to fiscal 2011, so Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas can start collecting their share of royalties later on this year, creating an immediate source of funding to pay for coastal restoration.

Cao also asked Mabus to support his call for raising the $75 million liability cap on economic damages oil companies can be forced to pay spill victims, such as fishermen.

Mabus told Cao he is planning a trip to New Orleans in the very near future, and the two agreed to work closely together on planning the restoration.

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