Rep. Gene Green Urges Colleagues to Oppose CLEAR Act
July 30, 2010
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Gene Green (TX-29) spoke on the House floor today in opposition to H.R. 3534, the Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources (CLEAR) Act. Rep. Green supports the implementation of increased rules and regulations for the safety of offshore oil and gas production, however the CLEAR Act includes unrelated provisions that will kill oil and gas related jobs onshore and offshore.
“I’m proud to represent a district that does everything energy from constituents working offshore, to service companies, refineries and chemical plants and I strongly support making production safer and cleaner,” Rep. Green said. “But imposing unlimited liability for economic damages will effectively eliminate from the Gulf of Mexico U.S. independent exploration and development companies.”
Included in the CLEAR Act is a provision that completely lifts the liability cap on economic damages currently imposed for companies involved in oil and gas exploration and production. While no one questions unlimited liability on the responsible party for environmental clean-up costs, with no cap in place on economic damages, independent companies will not be able to afford insurance payments and hundreds of companies will be driven out of business.
“If you want to eliminate jobs and shut down hundreds of small businesses, vote for this bill,” Rep. Green continued.
Rep. Green’s concerns with the CLEAR Act also include extraneous provisions unrelated to the safety of offshore production. Section 728 requires storm water discharge permits for oil and gas construction activities, Section 802 forces a $2 conservation fee per barrel onshore and offshore – fees that will be passed on to consumers – and Section 241 forces companies to renegotiate their deepwater royalty relief leases or be ineligible to bid on new leases.
“These provisions have nothing to do with responding to the BP oil spill,” Rep. Green went on to say. “This bill will kill jobs, hurt our domestic production, and it has become a vehicle for controversial and extraneous provisions that do not address the issue at hand. I strongly encourage my colleagues to vote against this bill.”