DAUPHIN ISLAND, Alabama – U.S Senator Richard Shelby said more needs to be done to help families and businesses suffering financially from our coastal crisis.
Shelby met with the mayors of Dauphin Island, Bayou la Batre, Fairhope, and State Representative Spencer Collier Thursday afternoon to hear about the needs of people in their areas.
Afterwards, he said a top federal official is coming to Mobile next week to talk money.
Shelby said, “I had a talk with Sheila Bair, who’s the chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. She’s coming to Mobile next Wednesday, and she’s coming down to talk to a lot of the bankers and a lot of the business people, because there are concerns because of the downturn in the economy, period, and then the impact of the oil spill.”
Shelby is hopeful banks will give business people more time to pay back loans.
What did the senator hear from the government leaders?
Bayou La Batre Mayor Stan Wright said, “One thing that was brought up was the moratorium on offshore drilling. It’s very important that that gets lifted to put these people back to work. It is only pouring salt in the wound.”
Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier said, “We need to make sure the environment is safe and sound, and that we get that message out to the populace throughout the United States, so that they know its safe to visit the area and to eat the seafood.”
Mayor Tim Kant of Fairhope said, “We want to make sure tourism comes back stronger than ever and that’s been my goal.”
And State Representative Spencer Collier of Irvington said he’s pushing for “expediting and increasing the amount of ‘GOMESA’ funding, which is federal money that comes to mitigate the oil and gas industry to the states.”
“GOMESA” stands for the Gulf of Mexico Energy and Security Act.
It allows Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas to share money from oil and gas leasing.