FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2015
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, issued the following statement regarding the Department of Justice’s announcement that the United States has reached a historic settlement with BP to resolve the civil lawsuit over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The $20.8 billion settlement is the largest settlement with a single entity in the department’s history. Earlier this year, Pallone and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced bills in the House and Senate, respectively, to ban offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean.
“Five years after the Deepwater Horizon spill, after families have fought to rebuild their livelihoods and governments have dedicated precious resources towards the clean-up, the money from this settlement is long overdue. While it will help with continued recovery and restoration efforts, the effects of this spill will still be felt for generations. Monetary compensation alone is not enough; we must learn our lesson.
“The spill was the single largest environmental disaster this country has ever seen and it was completely preventable. The technology that the oil industry claims can prevent disaster did not work. Lives were lost and immeasurable damage was done.
“Offshore oil exploration continues to put our environment, and the local economies that rely on it, at risk. Despite the irreparable and detrimental effects of the spill, there are those who stand to profit from expanded drilling under the same conditions and rules that allowed the spill in the first place. We cannot allow these penalties to be the cost of doing business. In order to truly stand by the coastal communities that suffered as a result of dangerous oil drilling, we must shift away from the oil-above-all priorities of this Republican Congress.
“This tragedy must serve as a reminder of the pitfalls of oil dependent energy priorities. We cannot risk more lives or the viability of an entire region just to send more oil abroad.”