02/04/2011 - Passing an oil drilling safety bill is a top goal of Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman, and his panel is hard at work on retooling the measure, a top aide to the senator said today.
"Senator Bingaman has it at the top of his priority list every time we talk about what needs to happen," said Linda Lance, senior counsel on the Democratic side of the committee.
The committee is focused on how to get a measure passed in the new Congress, Lance said during a briefing for reporters on the state of oil spill legislation, sponsored by the Pew Environment Group.
The Pew Environment Group since the spill has been pushing for a measure that would enact new oversight, including: a more thorough review of environmental impacts of offshore oil and gas drilling; a separation of government offices that collect revenues from offshore drilling from those that enforce safety regulations; an end to the current $75 million liability cap for economic damages connected to a spill; and a national ocean policy that would coordinate with regional plans in helping guide places for offshore drilling. It wants to "identify which areas are appropriate for energy development and which are too ecologically sensitive."
Read the full article Offshore Drilling: Passing Spill Bill is Top Priority for Bingaman (subscription may be required) on Environment Guru's Web site.