Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today questioned U.S. officials and experts on the safety of domestic energy production following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Larsen, the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, questioned the witnesses about the ability of the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to handle multiple accidents, such as a potential spill in the Puget Sound area.
"We need to make sure that the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund is strong enough so that it is in place to address future spills," Larsen said. "I'm particularly concerned about ensuring that the trust fund can handle multiple incidents, so that a big spill doesn't empty the fund and leave smaller spills, like if one were to occur in the Puget Sound, without resources to clean them up."
In his opening statement, Larsen said:
"The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was a major human and environmental disaster of potentially unprecedented proportions. The message today is the same as it was when we heard from the National Commission on the BP Oil Spill eight months ago: undertaking deepwater drilling requires a fuller understanding of the risks that accompany the clear benefits of deepwater drilling.
"We need to provide federal agencies with adequate resources to minimize the odds of another such tragedy from happening again, and to respond efficiently and effectively should we have to. The public depends on federal agencies to ensure the safety of deepwater drilling and the safety of the men and women who work on those platforms."