Representative Frank Pallone (NJ-06) Tuesday reintroduced the No New Drilling Act in light of the National Commission on BP report that concludes we are still vulnerable to another major oil spill. A key finding in the report concludes that the proper safety precautions and oversight is still not in place to prevent another spill.
"This report reveals there are gaping holes in the current policies and procedures that would cause major damage to our shorelines and economies when another spill occurs," said Pallone. "This is why we should put a stop to offshore drilling in areas currently not leased."
Pallone's legislation addresses this vulnerability by placing a permanent stop to all new offshore drilling leases in federal waters. The legislation would stop the Interior Department from pursuing any new exploration, development or production of oil, gas or any other mineral anywhere off America's coasts.
"Study after study has shown that the potential for something to go wrong on an oil rig is huge. It's a dirty and dangerous industry and one we need to transition out of. The No New Drilling Act is a practical way to do that," said Jacqueline Savitz, Oceana senior campaign director.
Building on efforts to restructure the offshore drilling oversight agency, the report also recommends significant budget and manpower increases for the agency, as well as creating an industry-funded safety organization.
Pallone supports the Obama Administration's recent policy reversal to ban offshore drilling along the Atlantic coast as part of the 2012-2017 five year offshore drilling plan, but warned this is still a temporary policy.
"The Administration's ban is a step in the right direction but doesn't go far enough. The next step is to put a permanent ban into law by approving the No New Drilling Act."