The Hill is reporting that Republicans in the House and Senate are calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to ensure that Gulf coast states — rather than the federal government — control a significant amount of the billions of dollars in fines BP has to pay for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill:
Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.), Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and others wrote a letter to Holder this week that responds to press reports saying that the Justice Department may be considering a settlement with BP that gives the federal government more control over the money.
Bonner told The Hill Friday that the possibility of giving more control over the money to the federal government raises the question of whether the administration might use the money to influence the November election, particularly by directing money to Florida, which is seen as a critical state to both the Obama and Romney campaigns.
Meanwhile, an oil sheen about four miles long has appeared in the Gulf of Mexico near the site of the Deepwater explosion, although testing is needed to find out where the oil is coming from.
CNN reports that the Coast Guard found out about the oil sheen Sept. 16 after someone spotted it on a satellite image from BP. A Coast Guard response team went to the location to collect samples, and sent them to the Coast Guard Marine Safety Lab in Connecticut for testing. Test results will take another several weeks.
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