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Today we celebrate International Women's Day. But, thanks to historic Senate votes, we can also celebrate some important victories for the environment.
Moments ago, the Senate passed the bipartisan RESTORE the Gulf Coast States Act, a landmark bill that will dedicate 80% of BP's Clean Water Act fines where they're needed most — to restore the Gulf Coast economy and the wildlife and communities who live there.
Today's victory is the culmination of an all-out, year-long effort combining all of EDF's great strengths — policy expertise, legsilative savvy, scientific know-how, and grassroots pressure.
In the last year, 100,839 online activists took action in support of this bill and hundreds of donors contributed more than $50,000 to support our efforts. On behalf of the entire EDF staff who worked so hard on this bill, I want to thank you all for every action taken and dollar donated. It made a huge difference.
Today's victory follows the House's recent approval of a similar amendment to the House transportation bill. The next step is for the House and Senate to resove the very bridgeable differences between these two amendments and enact the RESTORE Act into law to bring this victory home for the Gulf region.
Senate Also Rejects Toxic Air, Dirty Energy Assaults
In separate votes, the Senate also rejected two other bills we were closely watching.
The first vote was on a bill that would have blocked a life-saving clean air rule limiting mercury and other toxic pollution from industrial boilers. This rule will prevent up to 8,100 premature deaths every year and reduce the threat of toxic mercury pollution, which causes brain damage in kids.
The Senate also rejected a bill that would have fast-tracked the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project, which would transport dirty tar sands oil 1,700 miles from Canada's boreal forest to American refineries in Texas.
Since November, more than 90,000 activists have taken action against the Keystone pipeline project and nearly 150,000 activists have taken action in the last year in support of stronger clean air standards.
Together, our voices were heard and today's victories on these important bills demonstrate that when we stand together we are a powerful force for environmental progress.
Thanks to everyone who has taken action, donated, recruited friends, and helped spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks in support of our efforts on these and many other critical environmental issues.
Director, Online Membership and Activism