Cummings: Oil companies must ‘pay in full’ after accidents

The following is the text of a press release issued by U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md.:
(WASHINGTON) — Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (MD-07) today spoke on the House floor, encouraging passage of S. 3473, “To amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to authorize advances from Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.â€
As Chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, Congressman Cummings has consistently pushed for strong oversight of BP to ensure that such a tragedy is never repeated.
“This allows us to act with the urgency of now,†Cummings said during his floor speech. “There are people suffering.â€
The bill will allow multiple advances from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund as needed, up to a maximum of $100,000,000 for each advance. The new authority is essential to ensure that the Coast Guard is authorized to draw down from the main principal in the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund into the emergency fund to fund ongoing operations.
“We must give our people in the Gulf the funds and equipment they need to continue fighting against the effects of this disastrous spill,†said Cummings. “This bill will allow that to happen. However, it will also insure that the companies responsible for this devastation of our environment and our way of life are made to pay in full for their transgressions.â€

Though the bill is passing through the Federal government, all costs for the oil spill will be paid by BP. In fact, the Obama Administration has already sent BP the first of what will be many bills. S. 3473 is an administrative bill that is essential to ensuring that ongoing governmental response to the spill is not interrupted.

The bill is scheduled to be voted upon Thursday afternoon.
By Professional Mariner Staff