BP Oil Spill Bills Revive the Reforms Needed to Prevent another Disaster

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Keith Rutter
Phone: 202-347-1122
Email: pogo@pogo.org

BP Oil Spill Bills Revive the Reforms Needed to Prevent another Disaster

WASHINGTON - Reps.
Edward Markey (D-Mass.), George Miller (D-Calif.), and colleagues
introduced two bills this week that include essential reforms aimed at
correcting many of the systemic problems that led to the BP oil spill in
the Gulf of Mexico, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) said
Friday.

The “Implementing the Recommendations of the BP Oil Spill Commission
Act”(H.R. 501) incorporates recommendations from the independent oil
commission and reforms from the CLEAR Act (H.R. 3534), which the House
passed last year with POGO’s support. The legislation reorganizes the
U.S. Department of the Interior, statutorily ends the royalty-in-kind
program, improves training for government inspectors, and mandates
additional study of the effects of dispersants.

Although the bill has restrictions on employment to slow the revolving
door between government and industry, it only applies to the highest
paid Interior Department employees. Congress must recognize that the
coziness between regulators and industry that helped lead to this
disaster are present and must be addressed throughout Interior.

Markey and Miller also re-introduced legislation to provide
best-practice whistleblower protections for offshore oil and gas
industry employees (H.R. 503), which POGO supported and which passed the
House by an overwhelming majority last year. This bill will go a long
way to improve the safety of offshore drilling by protecting the workers
who warn us of potential problems.

“If the policies called for in these bills had been in place, the
Deepwater Horizon tragedy might have been averted,” POGO Executive
Director Danielle Brian said. “We’re very supportive of Reps. Markey and
Miller and their cosponsors as they revive critical reforms to improve
the safety of offshore drilling, restore fairness for taxpayers in
royalty payments, and ensure better oversight of the oil and gas
industry.”

POGO urged Congress to fix the failures that led to the BP Gulf oil
disaster in POGO's Reform Agenda: A Good Government Guide for the 112th Congress.

Related:

Interior Agency Needs to Dig Deeper on Reforms

House Panel Moves Towards Better Oversight in Wake of Deepwater Horizon Disaster

Interior Department Ethics Problems Spill into BLM

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The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more effective, accountable, open and honest federal government.

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