Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Governor Rick Scott Monday held a pair of ceremonial signings, for legislation he signed for real last week to allow Triumph Gulf Coast to receive its first payment,$300 million, from the $1.5 billion BP oil spill settlement.

Gulf Power Company President Stan Connally kicked off the ceremony at Pensacola International Airport, after the event was moved from the VT-MAE construction site because of inclement weather.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

The highlight of the legislative session for Northwest Florida was agreement on a plan for distributing oil-spill settlement funds by Triumph Gulf Coast to the eight most affected counties. Phyllis Pooley, director of special projects with the University of West Florida’s Office of Economic Development and Engagement, has been reviewing the list of requirements for proposed projects and how they’ll be applied. She discussed them with WUWF’s Sandra Averhart.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Opponents of offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico are mobilizing to fight the most recent threat. In Northwest Florida, it’s about protecting military training in the Gulf and preventing future disasters like the like the one caused the 2010 BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

Standing at the water’s edge, with arms raised, about three dozen people take part in the culmination of the annual ‘Hands Across the Sand’ event Saturday on Pensacola Beach.

“I’ve been doing this drilling issue ever since the BP Oil Spill,” said Monie Russo. “I’ve been out here religiously.”

The Florida House and Senate have unanimously passed legislation that ensures funds from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon/BP oil-spill settlement will remain in Northwest Florida.

Lawmakers approved HB 7077  and the Senate version SB 364, establishing the Gulf Coast Economic Corridor for eight most disproportionately affected counties.

The votes ended months of debate and guaranteed that the bulk of Florida’s $2 billion dollar share of the BP Settlement money would come to the western Panhandle.

Florida Senate

Senate Bill 364, which would ensure funds received in the BP Oil Spill settlement go to the eight hardest-hit counties, has cleared the first hurdle in the Florida Legislature.

The Recovery Fund for the Deepwater Horizon Incident was passed by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development. Its primary sponsor is Sen. George Gainer (R-Panama City).

The 2017 regular session of the Florida Legislature is in its second week. To get an early update, and to discuss some bills and projects of local interest, WUWF called on District 1 Republican Rep. Clay Ingram of Pensacola.

Northwest Florida projects targeted to get money from the Deepwater Horizon settlement would first require the blessings of the Governor and Legislature under a bill proposed by a house committee.

Florida is in line to receive up to $2 billion from BP’s settlement resolving Gulf Coast economic claims arising from the 2010 oil spill. The state received $400 million last year, with $107 million a year on the way from 2019-33.

Photo via Flickr// Green Fire Productions / https://flic.kr/p/bN5Djz

A federal judge in New Orleans has granted final approval to an estimated $20 billion settlement, resolving years of litigation over the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier's order was released Monday, six years to the month when Deepwater Horizon exploded, killing 11 workers and spewing 134 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Escambia County Commission Chairman Grover Robinson says it’s been a long time coming.

Adventures of KM&G-Morris Follow / https://flic.kr/p/5kxHYx

After three years of meetings, Escambia County’s RESTORE Advisory Committee is out with its final rankings of projects seeking money from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The 124 projects were initially ranked last fall and re-ranked over the past few weeks. Committee member Christian Wagley says what stands out about the process of identifying the top-ranking projects, is that the community wants those which multitask.

Santa Rosa County

Hunter Walker is wrapping up work as Santa Rosa County Administrator. In a final conversation with WUWF before leaving the post, he looked back at his 20 years on the job.

“Twenty years is a long time; that’s a generation,” said Walker. “The county’s changed a lot. I turned 65 in October so it seemed time.”

Walker has seen a lot of changes in Santa Rosa County during the past two decades, noting that the population was approaching 100,000 in the mid 1990’s, when he arrived. Now, approximately 163,000 people live in Santa Rosa.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the next meeting of Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc.  It will be held on Wednesday, October 28, 9 a.m. – noon at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort Bayside Ballroom at 160 Sandestin Blvd. N., Miramar Beach, Florida, 32550.

Photo via Flickr// The Latest Slub / https://flic.kr/p/8cUiWX

Nearly $21 billion is coming from BP to the five Gulf Coast states, in the settlement of the lawsuit over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Northwest Florida is in line for a substantial chunk of that money.

Escambia County will receive about $69 million; Santa Rosa County gets about $24 million, and Okaloosa County around $35 million from RESTORE. Santa Rosa Commissioner Lane Lynchard concedes that they’re on the lower end of the scale.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the availability of $5 million in economic development incentives to companies relocating or expanding in Northwest Florida.

“This is part of the $30 million allocation that was appropriated by the legislature several years ago, for the purpose of implementing an economic development program for Northwest Florida,” said Harper that the dollars were initially intended to be used specifically to “close the deal,” with businesses interested in creating jobs in the region.

Florida Dept of Environmental Protection

Santa Rosa County officials will go through a list of 15 project applications seeking part of 4.3 million dollars in RESTORE Act money from the BP oil spill.

The original 56 projects were scored and ranked by technical teams, with those offering sustainability and lasting impact making the cut.

Daniel Mota

As previously reported the Triumph Gulf Coast Inc., Board of Directors Meeting held their first meeting on August 18, 2015 at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, FL.

Daniel Mota

Triumph Gulf Coast Inc., the nonprofit corporation charged with distributing $1.5 billion in economic damages from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, held its inaugural meeting Tuesday. At Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, where the event was held, the conversation could be summed up with two words: “diversify” and “collaborate.”

"My hope is that these funds will be used to diversify and deepen our economy so that we can be more and more the masters of our own economic fate," Florida state Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, said at the meeting’s start.  

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses Triumph Gulf Coast Inc., which will be holding its inaugural meeting Tuesday, Aug. 18 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort at 9300 Emerald Coast Parkway West in Destin.

Photo via Flickr// Green Fire Productions / https://flic.kr/p/bN5Djz

Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas  will share a total of $18.7 billion from BP, as a result of the oil spill resulting from the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010. If approved by New Orleans Federal Judge Carl Barbier, it would be the largest court settlement in U.S. history.

“Just five years later, a potential ecological and economic tsunami has been avoided, because good people all came together and decided it was time to do the right thing,” said Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. “

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center / https://flic.kr/p/7Zja6s

Five Gulf Coast states, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, will share $18.7 billion from BP in the largest court settlement in U.S. history. If approved, this would end years of litigation over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

   In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses economic issues related to the fifth anniversary of the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

It was on April 20, 2010 that the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing eleven people and triggering a sea-floor oil gusher that flowed for nearly three months. It was the nation's largest off-shore oil spill.

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