Yesterday, Sheldon Whitehouse introduced S. 1991, legislation that would establish a National Endowment for the Oceans.
The National Endowment for the Oceans would provide money to states and territories for habitat restoration, research, conservation, and resource planning designed to improve the ecological status of U.S. marine areas.
Creation of the National Endowment for the Oceans would not increase taxes, however. Instead, money for the endowment would come from oil drilling revenues and fines for violation of offshore drilling safety regulations.
Environmental protection in a deficit neutral package seems like an idea that a large majority of legislators ought to be able to support. We should never underestimate, however, the ability of big oil to block worthwhile legislation in the interest of maintaining huge profits.
S. 1991 is a bill to watch.