Pew Reacts to Senator Reid's Oil Spill Announcement

Pew Reacts to Senator Reid's Oil Spill Announcement

Marilyn Heiman, director of Pew Environment Group's offshore energy reform efforts, today issued the following statement on Senator Reid's commitment to bring legislation on offshore energy reform to the Senate floor next week. The House also plans floor debate next week.

“Congress must take decisive action to prevent disasters like the Deepwater Horizon spill from occurring again. Americans are looking to their leaders in Washington to take care of this unfinished business before the August break. Now is the time to plug the leaks in the law.”

Strong legislative reform should:

  • Allow offshore development only in cases where it's proven that the marine environment and coastal communities won't be harmed;
  • Require a demonstration of fast and effective spill response capability before approval of exploration and production, and also regular testing of this capacity;
  • Ensure that offshore producers use the safest and best technology, and provide incentives to keep improving safety measures;
  • Eliminate liability limits for oil spill damages to ensure that all economic and environmental costs are recovered; 
  • Guarantee affected communities meaningful input into offshore development and spill prevention and response decisions; and
  • Establish permanent funding for ocean conservation and management.

A detailed list of the bills that have been marked up to date is available at

The Pew Environment Group's offshore energy reform work is now a part of Pew's Arctic Ocean Program.