Senate Committee Wastes Taxpayer Money Subsidizing Big Oil While Failing to Improve Offshore Drilling Safety

WASHINGTON (July 21, 2011) - The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today passed legislation (S.916) that would spend $850 million in taxpayer money on offshore oil and gas surveys, while failing to pass another bill (S.917) that would have strengthened offshore drilling safety.

NRDC Senior Oceans Advocate Regan Nelson made the following comment:

"Apparently it’s not enough that Congress already subsidizes the oil and gas industry with billions of taxpayer dollars. Now, some senators want to hand over nearly a billion dollars more of our money for seismic studies that the industry currently conducts itself.

"At the same time, instead of passing legislation that would have improved oversight of offshore drilling, senators tied to the oil industry tried to weigh down the legislation with measures to make the nation more dependent on fossil fuels, and then failed to pass it out of committee. This is the height of irresponsibility."