U.S. Sen. David Vitter today made the following remarks at the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearing, "Economic and Environmental Impacts of the Recent Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico." Vitter is a member of the committee.
"The challenges we currently face following the well collapse at Deepwater Horizon - industries dealing with uncertainty, fisheries facing shutdown, and men and women across Louisiana concerned about their livelihoods and their families - cannot be overstated," said Vitter. "As a member of this committee and a Gulf state senator whose state has been affected by the spill, I'm disappointed that my request to delay this hearing until we've capped the well and made headway protecting our coastline was ignored. I'm afraid that pulling focus and resources away from the coast is a mistake, and Louisianians know that this problem won't get solved in a Washington committee room but only when we have all hands on deck.
"As it stands, initial efforts to cap the well with dome technology called "cofferdam' failed because of the depths and temperature we are dealing with on the Gulf floor. A second attempt at capping and capturing the well is expected in the near future in hopes that technological challenges can be alleviated.
"In my multiple conversations with the Coast Guard, it has also been made clear that getting more boom in the water to protect the coast is a top priority because, as it stands, for every five miles of coastline potentially exposed to the spill we have less than one mile of boom in place.
"Additionally, I have been in discussions with my fellow Gulf state senators on how we can update and revise the Oil Pollution Act. We can't abandon the energy we need to fuel our economy, but we must be better prepared in the future."