Ocean Protection, Ocean Energy
April 28 2013

Congress Gets Poor Marks on Offshore Drilling Safety

by Pete Stauffer

A new report by Oil Spill Commission Action, a group composed of members of the National Commission on the BP Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, criticizes Congress for failing to take action in the three years since the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

The report gives the Obama Administration a “B” grade and Congress a “D+” for their efforts to address problems related to safety and environmental oversight of offshore drilling exposed by the BP spill. Specifically, Oil Spill Commission Action (OSCA) blasts Congress for not pursuing the panel’s recommendations to raise the $75 million liability cap for spills and increase funding for spill response.

And, while OSCA commends Congress for passing the RESTORE Act, which gives 80 percent of Clean Water Act fines to states for coastal restoration, the report notes that law allows significant funding to be diverted for purposes other than ecosystem restoration.

OSCA recommends that the United States adopt a “proactive, risked-based approach” and implement regulations to strengthen the quality of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews for planning, leasing, exploration, and development.

To read the full report click here.

To visit Surfrider's Not the Answer campaign page click here