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Oil spill panel calls for sweeping changes

January 11, 2011

Yeah, let's let this happen again. Good idea.

The panel investigating the 2010 BP oil spill released their report today, and the news isn’t great. According to the report, the Deepwater Horizon explosion occurred after a series of preventable failures on behalf of corporations and regulatory groups. The commission concluded that without sweeping regulations and an increased monetary commitment to oversee the offshore oil industry another accident is inevitable.

Bob Graham, co-chairman of the commission explained, “If dramatic steps are not taken I’m afraid at some point in the coming years another failure will occur, and we will wonder why did the Congress, why did the administration, why did the industry allow this to happen again.”

The timing of this report is pretty bad since anti-regulation Republicans took over Congress last week. They have blocked any new rules or regulations for offshore drilling and have ignored proposals to raise the liability cap on oil companies. In addition, the Guardian reports that “the powerful Chamber of Commerce business lobby today said overturning the Obama administration’s ‘tsunami’ of environmental regulations would be a top priority for 2011.” So that’s a double-whammy of less-than-stellar news for anyone who doesn’t want our waters covered in oil again.

Honestly, I don’t see any legislation on this getting passed any time soon. The oil spill is already a distant memory for most and with anti-regulation, anti-no-more-oil-on-pelicans Republicans in the majority, this will probably drop to about dead last on the list of things to get done. But who knows, sometimes Congress surprises us.

-Susan

Learn more about the BP oil spill and tell your Senator to protect the Gulf. Write to them or find out how else you can help by visiting the Sierra Club website.

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