Cleaning up the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion has already cost millions in tax dollars, which the feds hope to recover from oil giant BP. But if some conservationists eager to restore the whole Gulf Coast—even those parts untouched by the spill—get their way, taxpayers could feel a new pinch at the pump. The Nature Conservancy, which has worked on Gulf restoration projects for years, is pushing for a fund of $600 million per year to fix the Gulf from Texas to Florida over the next 20 years. It is backing a plan that would raise money from BP, impose a new per-barrel oil tax, and get revenue from offshore oil and gas rigs. “Now we’re trying to get the money to do the projects at a scale that really makes a difference,” says Cindy Brown, head of the Conservancy’s Gulf program.
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