Today U.S. Congressman John Salazar offered the following comments on the failure of Congress to respond to the Gulf Oil Spill before adjourning for August.
"Right now we must strengthen our regulation of the oil and gas industry so that the disaster in the gulf never happens again. The bill that passed the House today includes several provisions which are going to tie it up in the Senate and ultimately keep it from passing which means Congress is going to leave town for six weeks having failed to get a bill to the President that responds to the worst environmental disaster in our nation's history. This is a sad day for Congress and the American people and I could not support it.
"There are a lot of good things in the bill that passed today that Congress can and should pursue. But to pursue those things at the cost of delaying action on regulating the oil and gas industry is a mistake. This bill includes provisions that open up the door for the federal government to preempt our water rights and will further threaten the economies of states like Colorado. These provisions have nothing to do with regulating industry and will keep this bill from passing in the Senate. Ninety percent of the bill is good, but the bottom line is that it isn't going to clear the Senate and when we come back on September 13th we will be no closer to preventing the next environmental disaster than we are today.
"We should be staying in session day in and day out until we pass something the President can sign. Instead, the House has passed a bill that looks like a Christmas tree and the Senate is going to give it a slow death. It is time to pass a response to the oil spill that can pass both the House and Senate and that the American People can be proud of. I'll be the first in line to vote yes when we reach that goal."