U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) voted to revise current oil spill pollution and response laws to respond to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and help prevent a similar tragedy from happening in the future. Today, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure voted to advance the Oil Spill Accountability and Environmental Protection Act of 2010, which included several provisions that Larsen called for in a letter he sent to the Chairman of the Committee on June 16. Larsen is a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure which has jurisdiction over our nation's oil spill response and prevention laws, such as the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and the Clean Water Act. Larsen has been a member of this committee since 2001.
"The Deepwater Horizon oil spill continues to wreak havoc in the Gulf of Mexico. After numerous attempts by BP to stop and control the spill, it is estimated that the flow rate is still between 35,000-60,000 barrels a day.
"In the wake of this environmental catastrophe, it is clear that there are many shortcomings in our current oil spill pollution and response laws.
"Today, I voted to strengthen our oil spill pollution and response laws so we can better respond to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and help prevent another tragedy like this from happening in the future.
"I am pleased the Oil Spill Accountability and Environmental Protection Act of 2010 includes several provisions that I called for, including measures that will ensure oil companies are fully responsible for any spills or leaks they cause. This bill will lift the liability caps in the Oil Pollution Act in order to match the potential magnitude of spills and leaks.
"We must hold the oil companies--not taxpayers- accountable for the costs of cleanup.
"Today's vote is an important step towards strengthening our nation's oil spill response and prevention laws. I am committed to continuing to investigate the impacts of this massive environmental disaster and examining the best ways to ensure any future offshore drilling will live up to oil companies' claims of safety and reliability.