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Not Only Will Communities Face Growing Threat of Oil Spills, There Won’t be Money to Clean Them Up

Congressional Republicans Give Another Gift to Big Oil.

WASHINGTON - Today, the Washington Post reported that, in addition to passing a tax bill containing enormous giveaways to the oil and gas industry, Congressional Republicans quietly gave yet another gift to Big Oil when they allowed a tax on oil companies that funded federal oil-spill response efforts to expire.

The tax, which expired on New Years Day, constituted the main source of revenue for the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, which is intended to allow the government to respond quickly to oil spills and was tapped heavily after the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
 
The failure to renew this funding comes as the Trump administration has proposed to expand offshore drilling into nearly all of America’s waters -- despite bipartisan and community opposition, as well as rolling back safety regulations put in place in response to the 2010 disaster that devastated the Gulf Coast.

In response, Athan Manuel, Director of the Sierra Club’s Lands Protection Program, issued the following statement:

“If Donald Trump and Republicans wanted to inflict the most possible damage on coastal communities, they wouldn’t be behaving any differently. By gutting spill response funds at the same time the Trump administration is attempting to dramatically expand offshore drilling off America’s coasts and weakening safety regulations, Congressional Republicans are creating a catastrophe waiting to happen along our coasts, all to serve their true constituents: the fossil fuel industry.”

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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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