For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Kelly Trout, ktrout@foe.org, 202-222-0722 (o), 717-439-0346 (c)
Kim Huynh, khuynh@foe.org, 202-222-0723

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 - 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.”

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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

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