Big Oil Maintains Stranglehold on Congress

WASHINGTON (August 3, 2010) – Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has just announced he is withdrawing oil disaster legislation until after August recess. 

Following is a statement by Peter Lehner, Executive Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“Two weeks after the U.S. Senate shelved efforts to limit the carbon pollution that is causing global warming, the Senate is now set to adjourn without even responding to the Gulf Coast oil spill disaster. Continued obstruction by the Republican leadership and a handful of Democrats thwarted a balanced and meaningful offshore drilling reform bill that holds polluters, not taxpayers, fully accountable for oil spills.

“The Senate’s failure to act on either climate or the immediate needs of Gulf Coast communities shows just how tight a stranglehold Big Oil has on Congress. When our elected leaders return from their summer holiday, they must come back ready to break the grip Big Oil has over Congress.

“The oil industry pollution that causes global warming is a gusher many times the size of the Gulf oil spill. We will not tolerate Congress’s blind eye to Big Oil’s continuing pollution of our water and air.

“Congress has failed to protect the Gulf.  Congress has failed to protect the planet.  When members of Congress from both parties come back from their August vacations, they will have just a short time to redeem themselves.

“The Senate must pass this bill to ensure the oversight of drilling and oil companies that will help prevent future disasters and hold oil companies responsible for the damage they cause.”