Archived Project

Offshore Energy Reform

our goals

In response to the environmental calamity in the Gulf of Mexico, Pew is pushing for offshore energy reform in both the U.S. Congress and from the Obama administration. Some specific reforms are to:

  • Improve agency oversight of environmental protection, safety and management of oil development of our outer continental shelf.
  • Amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), which governs offshore mineral leasing and development, and/or its implementing regulations to ensure the cumulative environmental effects of oil and gas development are thoroughly reviewed and appropriately addressed.
  • Eliminate the statutory limits on liability for damages resulting from oil spills to ensure that the full cost of economic and environmental damages is recovered.
  • Amend the Oil Pollution Act, which governs oil spill contingency planning and response, to increase the timeliness and effectiveness of oil spill response and recovery.
  • Suspend new oil leasing, exploration or production in the U.S. Arctic Ocean until new safety, spill response, science and environmental standards are adopted through legislation or regulation.

Campaign Progress

New Standards for Drilling and Worker Protection | Added: Jan. 11, 2011

The Obama administration has issued new standards for offshore drilling and worker protection. On December 1, 2010, the administration withdrew the Atlantic, Pacific and Eastern Gulf of Mexico until 2017. On January 11, 2011, the presidentially appointed National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling issued a report calling for many of Pew's recommended reforms.

The CLEAR Act | Added: Jul. 30, 2010

On July 30, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Consolidated Land, Energy and Aquatic Resources (CLEAR) Act, a bill that would fundamentally transform our nation's approach to oil and gas extraction off our coasts. Key provisions to the House bill include improving safety and oversight, requiring use of the best available technology for drilling and spill response, creating a Gulf restoration program and eliminating the liability cap so American taxpayers are not left to pay the bill. Unfortunately, even after more than 30 hearings, many amendments and countless hours of thoughtful discussion, the U.S. Senate failed to act.