Today, Congress returns from elections to wrap up its work for this session, which means that time is running out for the Senate to pass any legislation in response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The House of Representatives already passed their version of a spill response bill back in July, and now it is the Senate’s turn to act.
The Gulf of Mexico needs help, and it needed it yesterday. Of course, the only way to prevent another catastrophe like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is to ban new offshore oil and gas drilling. In the meantime, the least we can do is pass a bill to clean up and restore the devastation that the oil industry has inflicted upon our oceans and coasts.
The Gulf needs a plan and funding for restoration efforts. Our coast and oceans need greatly improved oil spill response planning and infrastructure. Existing offshore oil and gas drilling needs stricter environmental and safety regulations for existing drilling projects. Oil companies need to take full financial responsibility for all the damages they cause in offshore exploration, drilling and production activities. The Senate needs to pass the Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Company Accountability Act of 2010, S.3663.