Montgomery -- John McMillan today proposed uniting the agriculturec ommissioners in the five states on the Gulf of Mexico in an effort to restore the region’s multi-billion-dollar seafood industry.
“I want to commend governors in the Gulf region states for working together in this disaster that continues with an estimated 60,000 barrels of crude oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico each day,” McMillan said. “As we learn more each day that the federal government has proved to be part of the problem and not the solution, it’s going to be state officials and members of our congressional delegations who must take the lead.”
That’s why leaders of the Gulf region must work together as one voice to move toward a solution and the restoration of the Gulf of Mexico and coastal waters, according to McMillan.
“Some three decades ago, as the newly appointed Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources, I had the unique experience of working with state and federal officials to rebuild our Gulf State Park and restore the oyster reefs in south Mobile County,” McMillan explained. “As a Baldwin County native, I have been around commercial fishermen, shrimpers and oystermen my entire life. I am committed to doing everything I can to make sure these good people don’t lose their livelihood.”
McMillan said that the greatest lesson he learned in the Hurricane Frederick clean-up was to establish good working relations with all officials involved.
“Applying this lesson and using the best practices of governors in the five-state Gulf Region, today I am proposing a formal working group of Agriculture Commissioners to spearhead the restoration of the fishing and seafood industry,” McMillan said. “This industry generates over $2.4 billion a year in revenue, sustaining tens of thousands jobs in the Gulf Region, including thousands of jobs here in Alabama.”
McMillan said that the coordinated effort between state Commissioners of Agriculture be an integral part of the work now underway with governors and congressional delegations of the five states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
“Our job would be to focus on the fishing and seafood industry, making sure that decision-making was on an expedited basis so that no government bureaucracy or official at British Petroleum would hold up the process,” McMillan said.