Oil Spill Bill Approved by House Includes Rep. Miller's Provisions to
Prohibit Dangerous Oil Companies from New Drilling and Protect Rights of Oil Rig Workers
The full House of Representatives voted today to deny new offshore oil leases or drilling permits to British Petroleum (BP) or any other company with an egregious worker safety and environmental record, announced Rep. George Miller (D-CA), who authored the provision.
Miller's amendment was contained in a sweeping offshore oil reform bill passed by the House in response to the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that resulted in the worst oil spill in American history. In addition, Miller's legislation to extend strong federal whistleblower protections to workers in the offshore oil and gas industry was approved with a strong bipartisan vote.
"Today, the House voted to hold oil and gas drilling companies accountable for their actions and to make offshore drilling safer for the environment, safer for workers, and safer for coastal communities," said Miller, chair of the Education and Labor Committee and former chair of the Committee on Natural Resources.
"The fact is, British Petroleum does not fit Americans' expectations of a how a responsible company should act. BP or any other company that fails to adhere to worker safety and environmental laws and that fails to learn from its errors and clean up its operations will be denied the right to new leasing and drilling off American waters. Actions should have consequences, and, until now, BP clearly has not been held accountable for its actions."
Miller said that his whistleblower legislation is critical not only to keep workers safe but to ensure proper operation some of the most complicated and dangerous facilities in the industry. "A whistleblower may be the only thing standing between a safe workplace and a catastrophe," Miller said. "No worker should ever have to choose between his life and his livelihood. Under my legislation, workers on offshore oil and gas operations would be protected to report safety concerns without fear of losing their jobs."