Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Support the No New Drilling Act!

Congressman Frank Pallone (NJ) has reintroduced the No New Drilling Act (HR 261) which would prohibit new offshore exploration, development, or production of oil and gas. The proposed legislation is currently the ONLY bill in Congress that would ban all new offshore drilling in the United States.

Despite the tragic lessons of the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the No New Drilling Act currently has only modest support in the House with a total of five co-sponsors. If you haven’t already, please participate in the action alert to ask your representatives to protect our oceans and coasts from drilling! Please also call your congressman to ask him/ her to co-sponsor the No New Drilling Act. Calling your representative is the most effective way to have your voice heard and to help advance this legislation.

Finally, in addition to the No New Drilling Act, there are a number of other bills proposed in Congress that would either strengthen regulations and/ or restrict new drilling activities. Please visit the forum on chapternet for more info and discussion.

Thanks for taking action!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Oil Spill Commission Report Finds Systemic Failure

The President's Oil Spill Commission, who was charged with determining the cause of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster and making recommendations to guard against future oilspills, released their report today.

The report is a scathing indictment of the industry for failing to have adequate response plans in place for rig blow outs and of the government for decades of lax oversight. The report makes it clear that the Deepwater Horizon spill is not an isolated incident, but the result of a systemic failure of the management and oversight of the offshore oil drilling industry.

Further, the report makes clear current practices put us in dire risk of another spill and calls for serious reform of the governments oversight of the oil industry. The report's conclusions can be summarized in three broad categories: managerial foul-ups, systemic failure and regulatory weakness. The report also suggests that the liability cap for oil spills should be dramatically increased and that most of the mitigation funding for the spill go the Gulf for restoration.

A more thorough summary of the recommendations can be found here

The report makes it clear that Obama's decision to prohibit leases in the continental US is a wise decision and is necessary to avoid another spill of this magnitude along our coasts.

See the statement released by Environment America and the Surfrider Foundation here.

More on the Oil Spill Commission and the full report can be found on their official site here.

More stories on the commission report:

Failure in the Gulf

Oil and Gas Journal - Spill panel: More government, industry reforms needed

Panel Spreads Blame For BP Oil Rig Explosion