Search The Site
Press Release of Senator Cantwell
Cantwell Statement on Mississippi River Oil Spill Near New Orleans
Wednesday, July 23,2008
WASHINGTON, DC– Wednesday, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), chair of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and the Coast Guard issued the following statement on today’s tragic oil spill in the Mississippi River near New Orleans, which has released roughly 420,000 gallons of bunker fuel:
“Today's oil spill should be another wake-up call of how vulnerable our waterways and coastlines are to oil spills,” said Cantwell. “All it takes is a single tragic incident to devastate a whole region’s coastal environment and economy. I call on the Senators that have been obstructing oil spill prevention and response legislation to reconsider their irresponsible actions. This incident highlights the improvements we need to make to our nation’s oil spill prevention and response capabilities.”
Last June, Cantwell reintroduced the Oil Pollution Prevention and Response Act, which would allow critically needed updates to the landmark Oil Pollution Act of 1990 – which was enacted following the tragic Exxon Valdez oil spill. The bill would also improve oil spill prevention and response, and implement long sought-after environmental safeguards to protect America’s waterways from contamination. Key provisions from this bill have also been included in the Senate’s Coast Guard Authorization Act, which is also sponsored by Cantwell. Although the Coast Guard bill unanimously passed the Senate Commerce Committee on August 2, 2007, and is strongly supported by the Department of Homeland Security, it is being blocked by a handful of Republican Senators.
# # #