Monday, June 21, 2010

Buchanan unveils his 'Oil Spill Prevention Act'

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, today unveiled his proposed "Oil Spill Prevention Act," legislation that promises to get tough on Big Oil by lifting liability caps enjoyed by the industry and tightening federal oversight of oil and gas drilling.

Here is Buchanan's news release:
Sarasota, Florida – Congressman Vern Buchanan (FL-13) announced today he will introduce sweeping legislation to hold oil companies accountable for offshore spills and reform the federal oversight process to ensure disasters like the Deepwater Horizon never happen again.

Buchanan’s bill, the “Oil Spill Prevention Act” will be introduced in the U.S. House on Tuesday. It would rescind liability protections currently enjoyed by Big Oil and mandate that regular inspections occur as scheduled. Deepwater Horizon missed 16 inspections before it exploded, creating the worst environmental disaster in our nation’s history.

Buchanan’s bill was endorsed today by environmentalists, business leaders and local elected officials at a press conference on Lido Key public beach.

“We have to do everything possible to plug the leak and take strong action to make sure it never happens again,” Buchanan said. “There is more than enough blame to go around, starting with British Petroleum’s disgraceful effort to cut corners to save time and money. Federal regulators also need to be held accountable for failing to protect the public’s safety by granting waivers for environmental permits, skipping inspections and negotiating jobs with the very oil companies they were responsible for regulating.”

Buchanan’s bill would do the following:
• Prevent conflicts of interest by separating the inspections office responsible for safety and environmental protection from the leasing office, which collects revenues;

• Require random drug testing;

• Eliminate the revolving door between MMS and oil companies by requiring MMS employees to wait a minimum of two years before working for an oil company;

• Strengthen oversight by mandating that missed inspections be rescheduled and eliminating categorical exemptions from environmental requirements; and

• Eliminate the cap on the financial liability of oil companies responsible for offshore spills.

Sarasota Visitors and Convention Bureau President Virginia Haley said the bill would fix a broken regulatory process. “The time is now to address the dysfunctional nature of this regulatory process,” said Haley. “Sarasota’s beaches are beautiful and yet we can see the economic distress for our hotels, fishing guides and restaurants caused by an oil spill 300 miles away.”

Sarasota County Commissioner Jon Thaxton, a leading environmentalist in the region said Buchanan bill will help protect the environment. "Congressman Buchanan continues to support sound energy policy that recognized the need to secure national interests, develop energy initiative as economic drivers and preserve and protect our fragile natural environment." said Thaxton.
For more details about the legislation, go here.


  1. Such hypocrisy, since He is one of the GOP members who joined Joe Barton in accusing President Obama of a "shakedown" of the BP, and, of course then faking surprise when Barton offered the apology to BP.

    All this hypocrisy is draining. For 8 years during the Bush Administration, Cheney, in guarded secrecy, gutted energy policy in favor of big oil, including BP. Who is going to look into that?

    Some of Cheney's GOP insiders are now working with BP, as Cheney stays quiet, but we don't want to go there either. We'd rather ignore the Haliburton stories. Who want to deal with that?

    Maybe when the public demands and becomes willing to receive the whole truth, the solutions will be clear. Quick fixes and half-truths only mask the real messes.

  2. Bp has been approved by our government to drill a two mile deep well in Alasla. If a one mile deep well can not be controlled what will a gushing oil well two miles below the water do to our enviroment and all of the animals killed for hundreds of years to come? There is no end to the billions of dollars oil companies keep accumulating, BP alone has several hundred oil wells flowing all over the world but trying to get them to pay is another pill to swallow. The oil companies are lobbying to remove the 6 month moritorium as they are anxious to continue to destroy our economic lives. The terrorist is our US government that does not protect us. This is the worst enviromental and economical disaster is our history and all our politicans do is file more usless legislation, not attack their own political hypocritical power and money grabs. Buchanan's legislation wants to halt drilling until the investigation shows that BP is incompetent and used outdated materials and technology, then the drilling will continue. Vote all incumbents out, vote INdependent and lets vote a new crop of corrupt politicans into office.