Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-08) today released the following statement on the "CLEAR Act", H.R. 3534:
"The Deep Water Horizon oil spill was a tragedy of historic proportion, and there is no doubt that Congress must play a role to make sure oil and gas drilling operations are safe and secure," Reichert said. "That's why I recently introduced a proposal to make sure that better technology and safety measures are in place. The CLEAR Act does include certain beneficial measures I support, including funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. But there is a better way to accomplish these objectives. In these difficult economic times, I simply won't support a proposal that would raise taxes, destroy jobs and raise gas prices by creating a new tax on gasoline. Moving people and goods is a critical part of economic recovery, and I won't support a measure that makes these things more expensive -- especially in the middle of a recession."
Reichert last month introduced the Offshore Drilling Safety Improvement Act, which adds to his distinguished record of holding oil companies accountable for their actions. Specifically, the bill amends the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to require that all oil and gas drilling and production operations on the Outer Continental Shelf have safety and environmental management systems in place, including blowout preventers and additional back-up emergency shutoff equipment, and that such equipment uses the best available and safest technologies. The Secretary of Interior will be tasked with: (1) incorporating safety technology information from independent scientists and experts, academic institutions and from technology used internationally; and (2) considering the need for different technology requirements in different environments and depths. Reichert's other work on this issue includes fighting for victims of the Exxon-Valdez spill, including coauthoring legislation granting preferential tax treatment to victims to ensure their settlements weren't affected by Exxon's delays paying claims; voting to eliminate billions of dollars in wasteful subsidies for big oil companies and using that money to promote clean, renewable energy; and spearheading an effort to prevent supertankers in Puget Sound.