Menendez, Booker Join Letter to Zinke: Eroding Key Safety, Environmental Protections Risks Coastal Economy

Menendez, Booker Join Letter to Zinke: Eroding Key Safety, Environmental Protections Risks Coastal Economy

Senators strongly oppose Administration’s proposed rollback of safeguards that could have prevented Deepwater Horizon spill

   

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker continued their fight against the Trump Administration’s zeal to allow oil drilling off our coastlines today, joining a letter to Secretary Zinke opposing the Trump Administration’s proposal to rollback the Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control rule, which is critical to improving the safety of offshore oil and gas operations and protecting our coasts from oil spills.

“The Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control Rule…set minimum standards that the oil and gas industry must meet when conducting drilling operations,” the Senators wrote.  “The move by your Department to undermine those protections is endangering the lives of oil workers, posing a serious threat to the environment, and imposing enormous potential liability on taxpayers by ignoring safety.”

The blowout preventer used by the Deepwater Horizon was found to be a critical failure, precipitating the disaster. The Trump Administration’s proposed rule reduces requirements for the design, operation, testing, maintenance, and inspection of blowout preventer systems.

The Senators continued:  “Rolling back these critical protections is not only irresponsible, it is dangerous. Instead of throwing out common-sense safeguards, we should be working to incorporate more lessons learned from tragedies like Deepwater Horizon to improve safety, oil spill prevention, and response.”

The letter was led by Senator Cantwell and also signed by Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.). 

The full letter can be found here