House Committee Disregards Safety, Reality with Offshore Drilling Legislation

WASHINGTON (April 13, 2011) –The House Natural Resources Committee today pushed forward three separate bills that would allow Big Oil companies to sidestep proper environmental analysis, rush permits and drill virtually anywhere off the U.S. coastline.

The legislation totally disregards the safety recommendations of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling that studied the causes of last year’s disaster, as well as the reality that more drilling will do nothing to bring down gas prices for consumers.

Following is a statement by Scott Slesinger, legislative director of the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“On the eve of the anniversary of the nation’s worst oil spill, some in the House want to reduce oversight of offshore drilling rigs instead of trying to make them safer. Haven’t we learned anything from last year’s Gulf disaster?

“More drilling will do nothing to bring down gas prices today or tomorrow. With the United States holding less than 2 percent of the world’s known oil reserves, drilling will not make us more energy independent.

“We need to bring down our energy costs through better efficiency, such as with more fuel-efficient cars and through better transportation options."

To read more about the House legislation, see NRDC Senior Oceans Advocate Regan Nelson’s blog here:

To read more about the facts behind drilling and high gas prices, see NRDC’s Web page on the topic here:

To speak with an NRDC expert on drilling, transportation or fuels, please contact Bob Keefe at or 202-289-2373