Eighty Days Since Oil Rig Explosion, Bennet Renews Call for Subpoena Power for Commission Investigating Spill, End to Liability Cap
Washington, DC – Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, released the following statement on now the eightieth day since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico:
“Eighty days after the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion that took the lives of 11 people and wounded 17 others, oil is still gushing, and the commission to investigate the spill still doesn’t have tools it needs to get to the bottom of what went wrong in the Gulf and how to prevent such a disaster from ever happening again.
“A bill giving subpoena power to the Presidential Commission charged with investigating the Gulf oil spill passed the House 420 to one. But in the Senate, a single Senator who chooses to remain in the shadows is barring the Commission from having resources that will help determine what happened in the Gulf. We cannot prevent another similar disaster if we don’t get to the bottom of what happened in the first place; that is why the Commission needs subpoena power.
“As Gulf coast residents and small businesses are reeling from this disaster, which has destroyed so many livelihoods, Congress has still not removed the oil company liability cap to ensure that the responsible companies are on the hook to pay for all economic damages, not taxpayers.
“Now’s the time for action – to get the leak plugged, to prevent future disasters from occurring and to help the Gulf Coast recover. This disaster also serves as a stark reminder that we desperately need action to overhaul our national energy policy – a policy that currently has us addicted to foreign oil and dirties our air, land and water. Comprehensive energy reform legislation must follow Colorado’s lead in the creation of a clean energy economy that will create jobs and move our country forward.”
Bennet has also introduced Senate legislation to end the secret hold, which would prevent this single Senator from secretly denying subpoena power to the oil spill Commission.