Senator wants oil revenue to aid states

May 20, 2010 at 8:25 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 20 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said she will submit legislation to get more oil revenue sent immediately to Gulf Coast states staggered by a huge oil spill.

Landrieu said she wants nearly 40 percent of oil revenue the U.S. government collects from leases in the Gulf Coast region to be funneled immediately to the states affected by the hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil spewing daily into the Gulf of Mexico since an oil rig exploded April 20 and sank, CNN reported Thursday. Under existing rules, some of the money wouldn't reach the states until 2017.

Landrieu said she hoped to introduce the legislation Thursday. Congress is expected to consider the bill next week.

Meanwhile, oil company BP worked to cap the gushing oil that threatens the environment and economies of several states.

Doug Suttles, BP's chief operating officer for exploration and production, told reporters Wednesday the company was "very pleased" with the performance of a tube inserted into the rig, sucking crude oil from the well to a vessel topside.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said containment efforts haven't stopped oil from reaching the state's coastline. Thicker, heavier oil snaked into some interior wetlands, Jindal said, calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to approve an emergency permit to dredge sand from barrier islands to create another line of defense, CNN reported.

"These are not tar balls. This is not sheen. This is heavy oil that we are seeing in our wetlands," Jindal said.

BP said it is performing tests and mobilizing equipment in preparation for the first attempt to actually stop the flow of oil Suttles said could occur as early as Sunday, CNN said.

In the procedure, heavy fluid used as a lubricant and counterweight in drilling operations is injected into the well bore. If successful, the well would be cemented shut, BP officials have said.

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