Sen. Shelby requests assistance to protect coast from oil spill

WASHINGTON, D.C., - U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), ranking member of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee (CJS), sent a letter to Admiral Thad Allen, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard to request immediate assistance to protect the Gulf Coast from the oil spill predicted to make landfall this weekend.

"It is imperative to proactively respond to the predicted threat to the Gulf Coast," said Senator Shelby. "We must posture federal assets in a manner that will protect the most sensitive ecosystems. The potential disaster looming in the Gulf of Mexico could devastate Alabama's economically crucial species such as snapper, grouper, red fish, mackerel, oysters, shrimp, crab, and wildlife populations and their habitats, as well as the tourism and recreational businesses that rely on the Gulf. It is my hope that federal, state, and local officials will continue to work closely together to do everything possible to minimize the negative ecological and economic impacts to our Gulf Coast communities."

Senator Shelby continues to work with BP, Transocean, relevant federal agencies, and other Congressional members to ensure the response is cohesive and consistent. In addition, Senator Shelby will work to continue interagency coordination to adequately respond to the immediate and long term effects of the spill and ensure accountability.