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Congresswoman Matsui Responds to BP Oil Spill and Votes in Support of CLEAR Act

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Says "It is Clear: We Must Truly Move Beyond Petroleum"

Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui voted in favor of H.R. 3534, the Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources (CLEAR) Act of 2010, which responds to the unprecedented BP Oil spill disaster. This important legislation will help improve environmental safety standards concerning offshore oil development, hold corporations accountable for their actions, and provide a framework for the restoration the Gulf Coast.

"The BP Oil catastrophe, which claimed the lives of eleven people and devastated the ecosystem, economy, and communities of the Gulf Coast, clearly demonstrates the importance of establishing stricter regulations concerning the oil industry," said Congresswoman Matsui. "The CLEAR Act will work to improve safety standards and hold corporations accountable, to ensure that we not only prevent future environmental disasters, but also protect the lives and livelihoods of those located in these areas."

Under the CLEAR Act, oil companies would be mandated to disclose the chemical identity of their dispersants and make certain that they are financially able to cover the costs of any spills or accidents caused by their offshore drilling activities. Furthermore, these companies would also be required to fully compensate the victims of any such disasters.

In addition to these provisions, this landmark piece of legislation would establish the Treasury and Ocean Resources Conservation and Assistance Fund (ORCA) to improve the stewardship of coastal and oceanic areas. Furthermore, the bill calls for the creation of a public land leasing program dedicated for commercial wind or solar energy development. The CLEAR Act would also reduce our deficit -- saving taxpayers more than $5 billion in the next five years according the Congressional Budget Office, and up to $50 billion over the next 25 years according to the General Accounting Office.

"The BP Oil spill has underscored the urgent need for our country to become less dependent on oil which can have unending and ruinous impacts on our environment, our people, and our economy," added Rep. Matsui. "The CLEAR Act reiterates this Congress' commitment to making investments in cleaner, greener technologies that will protect our environment, and create millions of domestic clean energy jobs. It is clear: we must truly move beyond petroleum."

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