WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today Oil Spill Commission Co-Chairs, former Senator Bob Graham and former EPA Administrator Bill Reilly, asked both House and Senate energy committees to legislate recommendations made by the Oil Spill Commission that investigated the causes of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The Commission’s report, released two weeks ago, contains dozens of important recommendations for industry and the government.
Mike Gravitz, Oceans Advocate of Environment America said the following:
“The Oil Spill Commission produced a remarkably insightful and useful report that dissects the causes of the BP oil spill and makes dozens of recommendations to fix both the industry and government approach to this business. The report clearly states that if we want to reduce the likelihood of another BP-like catastrophe, Congress must pass legislation bringing the key recommendations into law.
“I hope today’s hearings don’t show Congress backpedaling from a real response to the largest oil spill in U.S. history. The American people, especially those in the Gulf, rightly expect Congress to reduce the likelihood of another catastrophe and have a liability system in place to pay for inevitable damages to lives, livelihoods and the environment.
“Environment America reaffirms that the only safe offshore oil drilling is no drilling at all; we need to transition off oil. Short of that, we support many of the recommendations made by the Co-Chairs today.
"Especially important are: eliminating the cap on liability for economic damages from spills; providing more resources and time for permit reviews, environmental analysis, inspections and enforcement; giving a formal role to NOAA – the nation’s ocean agency – in determining whether and where to allow offshore leasing; and more independence for environmental reviews within the Department of the Interior.
“Protecting our oceans and coastline must be the highest priority.”