Environmental justice and energyPress Releases

Rep. Barragán Amendment Passes in Bill that Bans Offshore Drilling

By September 12, 2019 No Comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán’s amendment to the Protecting and Securing Florida’s Coastline Act of 2019, passed the House of Representatives. The amendment, originating in the Safe COAST Act, which Rep. Barragán introduced earlier this year, requires that a study conducted by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine ensures the safety, transparency and environmental stewardship in the management of offshore drilling, remains unconstrained by the Trump Administration, and contracted to the NAS.

 

“Part of ensuring our nation’s coastlines are safe and clean for all Americans is by upholding the integrity of our investigative process of offshore drilling,” said Rep. Barragan. “The passage of my amendment will keep the study operational and in the trustworthy hands of the National Academy of Sciences, not the friends of the oil and gas industry.”

 

Also passing today in the bill was an amendment from Rep. Barragán’s Safe COAST Act, to codify two of the common-sense safety regulations implemented after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion. These two rules, dealing with production safety systems and well control, have been rolled back by the Administration to minimize the oil and gas industry’s safety obligations.

 

“As our nation’s worst offshore environmental catastrophe, our coastal communities can’t afford another disaster like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” said Rep. Barragán. “By dismantling key safety regulations, the administration is putting fishing, tourism and recreation economies along the Pacific coast at risk. This decision is a major win for the oil and gas industry and a major loss for not just our wildlife but our environment. The amendment will make safety regulations permanent and protect our coasts against the dangerous consequences of offshore drilling.”

 

The Protecting and Securing Florida’s Coastline Act was passed with the Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act, which blocks new offshore drilling along the Pacific coastline.  The passage of today’s bills is a part of Democrats’ commitment to a clean energy future and an end to the Trump administration’s frequent handouts to major polluters.

 

Background:

In December of 2017, the Trump Administration placed a stop-work order on the study entitled ‘‘Review and Update of Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Offshore Oil and Gas Operations Inspection Program’’ that the Secretary of the Interior had previously contracted with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to complete. The study is currently active and being conducted by the National Academies of Sciences. However, the study could be threatened or halted at any time by the administration once again. Rep. Barragán’s amendment ensures the study continues unobstructed ,and remains contracted by the National Academies of Sciences.

 

For a video of the Congresswoman’s floor statement on her amendment, click here.

 

Nanette Diaz Barragán is proud to represent California’s 44th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Carson, Compton, Florence-Firestone, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, San Pedro, South Gate, Walnut Park, Watts, Willowbrook and Wilmington.