They’ve been on the march. Their umbrellas have been up and the sun’s been shining. And just who is in this determined blue brigade?
They call themselves Women of the Storm and this has been their week to be in Washington, D. C. This group of 140 southerners from five states want legislators to make certain that 80% of the BP oil spill fines go to Gulf Coast restoration. They’ve been lobbying 250 lawmakers to get this allocation of funds. You can see them in action on video at wkrg.com.
They raised their bright blue umbrellas which represent the tarps that covered thousands of destroyed roofs along the Gulf damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. With them were the names of 131,000 citizens who signed their petition.
If part of the money isn’t given back, they say that billions of dollars will be washed into the general fund. Apparently there is no legislation right now to prevent this. Nikki Buskey reported in the dailycomet.com that BP could face civil fines of $5.4 billion to $21.1 billion Legislation was presented at one time to require a percentage of the fine to be returned to coastal communities, but it expired in 2010.
Their founder, Anne Milling, feels strongly that all America will benefit for generations to come with a healthy coast, but only if this money makes its way back to these states. If it’s postponed, she says it will cost the country dearly.
Some of the women say they’re not political but that it’s “Manners 101.” As Gulf Shores’ restaurant owner Lucy Buffett, sister of Jimmy, told Rose Ann Haven from WKRG, “We’ve been brought up to believe if you mess things up, you clean it up.”
To follow this ambitious group’s efforts, visit their website.