The bipartisan commission appointed by President Obama in the wake of the Gulf oil disaster recently released its findings and recommendations to prevent another catastrophe.
Tell Congress you support the Commission's findings and implore them to enact these needed changes to reform offshore oil and gas drilling and to protect and restore our coasts and seas.
I urge you to take action as directed in the report to support restoration of the Gulf of Mexico region, to protect our coasts from future disaster and to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for this and any future spills.
Specifically, I ask you to seriously consider the Commission's recommendations below:
1. The creation of a Gulf of Mexico Regional Citizen's Advisory Council. A similar council was created in Alaska following the Valdez spill in 1989 and needs to be created in the Gulf to give voice to local residents in the ongoing recovery.
2. Raising or eliminating the $75m cap on liabilities for oil companies involved in spills or other accidents. Damages in the Gulf of Mexico have far exceeded that cap and future spills or other disasters could be similarly costly to recover from.
3. Ensuring that 80% of the Clean Water Act fines from the BP disaster are directed to ecological restoration in the Gulf of Mexico region
4. The creation of a safety and environment office withing the Department of Interior to oversee drilling safety independent of the leasing program.
5.Adequate funding of BOEMRE through increased fees on oil and gas companies.
Quickly enacting these reforms is essential to the recovery of the Gulf and the safeguarding of our coasts and oceans. Thank you.