Remember the BP Spill? Get ready to get angry. I am posting the e-mail from Change.org for you to read so I don’t have to be annoyed by explaining it.
“Big Oil’s election successes earlier this month are already paying dividends. News reports this week say Republican Joe Barton – the guy who infamously apologized to BP, calling efforts to hold the company responsible for its spill a “shakedown” – could be the next chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
This means we have a narrow opportunity to pass important legislation to keep Big Oil in check. Our best chance at effective legislation – the Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Company Accountability Act – is currently in the Senate, but has been languishing since the BP spill earlier this year.
This bill would establish new, tougher safety regulations and eliminate the outdated liability cap for oil spill damages – currently set at an absurdly low $75 million. But if it doesn’t get passed in the next few days before this Congress goes on break, the chance for more accountability for oil companies anytime soon is close to zero.
We need to tell our senators now that they cannot take off for the holidays without doing something to prevent future disasters like the Gulf oil spill.
Take action and urge your senators to pass the Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Company Accountability Act before leaving Washington.
The Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Company Accountability Act is full of common-sense regulations that would have helped prevent and mitigate what happened in the Gulf. It puts new, tougher safety standards in place for oil rig workers. It would put an end to the rubber-stamping of industry plans and require improvements in oil spill response capacity.
Perhaps most importantly, the bill eliminates the outdated liability cap for oil spill damages. The current $75 million limit is a drop in the bucket – just last week BP estimated its current Gulf cleanup costs at $40 billion.
We need regulations with teeth. When disaster does strike, future polluters need to be held fully responsible for the cost of damage and cleanup. There is no way taxpayers should be paying one dime to mop up an oil company’s mess.
If the Senate doesn’t pass this in the next few days, Congress will likely have to start from scratch next year. If that happens, the bill will be watered down to placate Big Oil’s friends in Congress.
Take action and tell your senators it’s high time they do something in the wake of the Gulf oil spill and put stronger rules in place for oil companies.
There is no excuse for our legislators to leave Washington without passing a bill that is long past due.
Thanks for taking action,
The Change.org team”