The House of Representatives today unanimously passed Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter's amendment to the CLEAR Act. Congresswoman Shea-Porter's amendment ensures that the ethics guidelines required for certain Department of Interior employees are updated at least every three years. It also ensures that the best available technology for oil spill response and mitigation, and the accessibility of that technology is part of the Offshore Technology Research and Risk Assessment Program. Finally, the amendment requires that operators annually certify that their response and exploration plans include the best available technology and its availability.
"My amendment strengthens the ethics rules at the Department of Interior and will help develop and employ new technologies to prevent and cleanup oil spills," said Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. "The BP spill in the Gulf made clear that while oil companies were spending time and money to develop new ways to drill in new places, they were not putting their resources into making sure we had the technology to prevent and cleanup a spill. My amendment will change that."
The CLEAR Act will ensure strong new safety measures to protect our coastal communities and waters. This legislation requires independent certification of critical oil clean-up equipment, holds BP and the oil industry fully responsible for cleanup costs and recovery after spills by removing the $75 million cap on economic damages, strengthens oversight of oil drilling, and forces oil companies to pay their fair share for drilling on public lands. Congresswoman Shea-Porter is a member of the House Natural Resources Committee.