Senate Spill Bill Fails to Address Root Causes of Gulf Oil Tragedy
For Immediate Release
July 27, 2010
Senate ‘Spill’ Bill Fails to Address Root Causes of Gulf Oil Tragedy
Bill contains some positive measures, but squanders opportunity to catalyze an oil-free future
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) this afternoon unveiled a draft outline of a pared-down oil spill bill after officially abandoning a broader attempt to address our climate and energy crises last week.
Friends of the Earth president Erich Pica had the following response to the draft summary:
“For a bill that was meant to respond to the consequences of our nation’s crippling dependence on oil, it will not prevent oil disasters like the one currently ravaging the Gulf Coast. This moment demanded aggressive measures to end drilling and propel our country toward an oil-free future.
“The bill’s positive reforms include putting polluters like BP on the hook to pay the full costs of oil spill damage and erecting a wall between revenue-takers and oil industry regulators in the Department of the Interior. While the bill includes investments in solutions like electric vehicles and energy efficient homes, they are crumbs compared to the billions in taxpayer dollars that subsidize Big Oil’s profits and pollution each year.
“Senators in bed with fossil fuel industry lobbyists have also hijacked this bill to promote natural gas, a false solution. Natural gas extraction consumes oil and is poisoning drinking water supplies from Texas to New York.
“The convergence of a favorable majority in Congress and the worst environmental catastrophe in U.S. history presented a once-in-a-generation opportunity to end our oil addiction. Unfortunately, the Obama administration and Congress didn’t seize that opportunity and future generations will suffer for it.
“In the absence of strong action from Congress, the Obama administration must put a permanent moratorium on drilling and aggressively promote policies to reduce oil consumption across the nation.”
Friends of the Earth (www.foe.org) and our federation of grassroots groups in 77 countries are a force for the sustainable and fair use of the Earth’s resources. We’re progressives who confront economic factors fueling ecological destruction and injustice and who don’t shy from speaking sometimes uncomfortable truths to power. Our current campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, keeping toxic and risky technologies out of the food we eat and products we use, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them.