This afternoon, the House passed HR 5481, legislation to provide the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling with subpoena power. This will ensure the Commission can conduct a complete analysis of the systemic industry and regulatory failures that led to this tragedy and avert future disasters, without being stonewalled by BP or any other entity in its search for answers.
Today's action by the House to provide the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling with subpoena power will help ensure a complete and independent analysis that will better prevent future disasters. Subpoena power is an essential resource to make certain that BP and others cooperate in this investigation and will allow the Commission to get testimony from crucial participants, such as those who reported equipment problems prior to the explosion.
This legislation builds on the work of this Congress to address the oil spill, including ensuring the federal government has the resources it needs to continue to respond to the crisis, and conducting oversight that has already yielded key findings.
The New Direction Congress will continue to move our nation to clean American energy–and away from a national energy policy Republicans let Big Oil write and execute. Those who work against us are protecting the special interests over the public interest.
While the House continues their full inquiry into the disaster with three hearings and one markup this week, the House has also passed two bills in recent weeks responding to the disaster:
Legislation to permit the Coast Guard to obtain advances from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (S. 3473) to ensure we have the resources needed to respond to the BP Oil Spill.
Legislation to protect coastal economies by making oil companies pay to strengthen the solvency of the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund–instead of passing the bill on to taxpayers.
In addition, today the Judiciary Committee held a markup on the Securing Protections for the Injured from Limitations on Liability Act or SPILL Act (H.R. 5503)–a comprehensive bill addressing legal liability issues arising from the Gulf Coast oil spill.