House Passes Oil Spill Bills, Larger Package Expected Next Week
The House today passed two oil spill response bills, but a larger oil spill response package — a compilation of a number of bills — is expected to be unveiled next week, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
According to Pelosi:
And next week, our efforts will continue with a package of legislation that strengthens safety standards, reforms the Minerals Management Service, and removes the cap on economic damages paid to residents and small businesses by oil companies after oil spills.
Here are the details on the bills that passed today, from a House Science and Technology Committee statement:
H.R. 2693, *the Oil Pollution Research and Development Reauthorization Act, *authored by Representative Lynn Woolsey, ensures the ongoing development of new technologies and methods to prevent, recover, and respond to oil spills. The bill also provides for robust oversight and accountability of the interagency research and development program. Furthermore, this legislation sets up a more efficient federal management structure. More specifically, the bill updates and improves upon the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.
And the second bill:
H.R. 5716, *The Safer Oil and Natural Gas Drilling Technology Research and Development Act *will make oil and gas drilling safer by supporting research and development of technologies and practices for worker and environmental safety, as well as accident prevention and mitigation. More specifically, the bill amends Section 999 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which authorized the Secretary of Energy to establish an Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Onshore Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Resources research and development program.