Study: Job growth if BP fines used for coast

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A study commissioned by two non-profit groups says thousands of jobs would be created along the Gulf Coast if money from BP oil spill penalties and other sources is dedicated to coastal restoration.

The report by the research firm Mather Economics comes as Gulf interests press Congress for passage of the Restore Act, which would take 80 percent of Clean Water Act penalties charged to parties responsible for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill and dedicate it to coastal restoration. The fines could run anywhere from $5.4 billion to $21.1 billion.

The study estimates that spending $1.5 billion per year over the first 10 years of coastal projects would create more than 57,000 jobs.

The economic development group GNO Inc. and the Walton Family Foundation commissioned the study.

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