Sending Office: Honorable Nanette Diaz Barragan
Sent By:
Mike.Stoever@mail.house.gov

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

PROTECT OUR COASTLINES AND PREVENT ANOTHER DEEPWATER HORIZON DISASTER

Endorsed by: Oceana, Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast, California League of Conservation Voters, Animal Welfare Institute

Co-Sponsors (53): Price* (NC), Crist* (FL), Soto* (FL), Grijalva* (AZ), Wasserman Schultz* (FL), Lee* (CA), Huffman* (CA), Boyle* (PA), Suozzi* (NY), Napolitano* (CA), Norton* (DC), Wilson* (FL), Kaptur* (OH), Hastings* (FL),
Bass* (CA), Gallego* (AZ), Lowenthal* (CA), DeFazio* (OR), Carbajal* (CA), Khanna* (CA), Keating* (MA), Eshoo* (CA), McGovern* (MA), Welch* (VT), McNerney* (CA), Gomez* (CA), Watson Coleman* (NJ), Jayapal* (WA), McEachin* (VA), Raskin* (MD), Scott* (VA), Blunt
Rochester* (DE), Schiff (CA), Shea-Porter (NH), Kihuen (NV), Pingree (ME), Beyer (VA), Castor (FL), Bonamici (OR), Demings (FL), Carson (IN), Sarbanes (MD), Lipinski (IL), Roybal-Allard (CA), Takano (CA), Cartwright (PA), Slaughter (NY), Lofgren (CA), Garamendi
(CA), Moulton (MA), Thompson (MS), Blumenauer (OR), Gabbard (HI)

Dear Colleague,

We invite you to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 4888, the Safe Coasts, Oceans, and Seaside Towns (COAST) Act, a bill that would codify two of the common-sense safety regulations put in place after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster: the production safety systems
rule and the well control rule. At a time when nearly all of America’s coastal waters have been placed on the table for increased oil and gas drilling, the Trump Administration has simultaneously taken steps to ease regulations such as these that govern the
oil and gas industry. This would be an enormous mistake.

The Deepwater Horizon disaster was the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Eleven workers lost their lives and more than 4 million barrels of oil were released into the Gulf of Mexico, causing more than $17 billion in damages to the natural resources of the
region. In the wake of this disaster, a bipartisan national commission was assembled to investigate its cause. The panel concluded that the mistakes made by the companies involved revealed “such systematic failures in risk management, that they place in doubt
the safety culture of the entire industry”[1].

As a result, several regulations aimed at better governing the oil and gas industry were put into place. These include the production safety systems rule, which requires that safety and pollution prevention equipment be inspected by independent auditors
certified by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), and the well control rule, which requires BSEE to confirm that the amount of pressure drillers propose to use in a new well is “safe”, thus reducing the risk of blowouts such as the one
that caused the Deepwater Horizon disaster. These are the same two rules targeted by the current Administration that the Safe COAST Act seeks to preserve.

The replacement rules under consideration by the current Administration each minimize some of the oil and gas industry’s obligations and change compliance terms in several instances to language favored by drillers. They would lighten industry’s responsibilities,
and in so doing suggest a return to a more permissive regulatory era. According to former BSEE administrator Michael Bromwich, “loosening these regulations, taken together with other aspects of the Administration’s approach, significantly increases the risk
of a catastrophic accident”[2].

It is simply too soon to roll back these regulations, which were the result of intensive negotiation with industry and only took effect in 2016. Doing so also poses a conflict of interest for BSEE, tasking safety regulators with the concerns of promoting
oil and gas development. Simply put, BSEE should not be in the role of prioritizing corporate profits ahead of the health and safety of our coastal economies.

If you would like to become a cosponsor of this legislation or have any questions, please contact Mike Stoever in my office at mike.stoever@mail.house.gov (x58820), Emily Richardson in Rep. Price’s office
at emily.richardson@mail.house.gov (x51784), and Sarah Hanson in Rep. Crist’s office at sarah.hanson1@mail.house.gov (x55961).

Sincerely,

 

Nanette Diaz Barragán                       David E. Price                                      Charlie Crist

Member of Congress                          Member of Congress                          Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Energy, Environment, Natural Resources

Related Bill Information

Bill Type: H.R.
Bill Type: 4888
Special Note:

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