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CAP's Spill Response Recomendations


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CAP's Spill Response Recomendations
Topic: Current Events 5:33 pm EDT, Jun 14, 2010

The several media outlets have been commenting on CAP's role in the spill aftermath:

If you want to see where President Barack Obama’s response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster is heading, try following the urgings of the Center for American Progress.

The liberal think tank with close White House ties appears to have more influence on spill policy than the president’s in-house advisers. On May 4, for instance, the CAP’s energy and environment expert, Daniel Weiss, called on the president to name an independent commission to look at the causes of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. On May 22, he did just that.

On May 21, CAP president, John Podesta, privately implored White House officials to name someone to be the public point person for the spill response. A week later, the White House announced that Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen would hold daily briefings on the spill, wherever he would be on any given day.

On May 26, Weiss said the White House needed to demand that BP immediately set up an escrow account with billions of dollars from which claims for Gulf state residents would be paid out.

Monday’s headlines proclaimed the president’s latest get-tough stand: BP needs to set up a billion-dollar escrow account.

What’s next, Mr. Podesta?

Funny you should ask! Here is Dan's latest laundry list:

Take charge of the clean up

* Put the National Guard—along with other military branches—in charge of cleaning up BP oil and begin planning for a tropical storm response as soon as possible since storm season began June 1
* Appoint the remaining commissioners to the Bipartisan National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling
* Create a comprehensive BP oil disaster information clearinghouse at so that all information is in one place rather than dispersed on each separate agency website

Demand more help from BP

* Demand that BP provide more transparency to their efforts and allow media access to all contaminated areas
* Stop BP, Transocean, and Halliburton from spending money on their own or American Petroleum Institute lobbyists, ads, or campaign contributions, and instead dedicate all funds to clean up and compensation

Provide health and economic aid to people in the gulf region

* Put the government, not BP, in charge of the immediate and long-term public health response
* Establish a $10 billion escrow account for damages, which is less than half the profits BP earned in the last 15 months
* Eliminate the oil spill liability cap of $75 million for damages from an oil spill
* Establish a Gulf Recovery Fund, a nongovernmental, nonprofit corporation designed to oversee long-term economic recovery in the affected states

Prevent future blowouts and disasters

* Immediately adopt the safety recommendations in Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s report to the president
* Adopt most of the protective safeguards for deepwater rigs required by other nations
* Create a federal research program to develop more reliable “fail safe” leak prevention hardware and oil containment technologies

Reduce oil use and pollution

* Implement fuel economy standards and other measures to produce a 7 million barrel per day reduction in oil use by 2030, with interim reduction targets
* Establish at least a 45 mile-per-gallon fuel economy standard for cars and light trucks in 2020 and establish the first fuel economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks
* Power trucks and buses with natural gas by enacting the NAT GAS Act
* Power cars with electricity by enacting the Electric Vehicle Deployment Act
* Eliminate taxpayer subsides that benefit big oil companies
* Invoke the Trade Expansion Act to levy a small fee on imported oil and use that revenue for public transit, high-speed rail, and other clean infrastructure
* Adopt a shrinking limit on global warming pollution from oil-based transportation fuels, coal-fired power plants, and other very large sources

Here is some more about the transparency bit:

What Americans really need is for the Obama administration to establish a simple, clear, one-stop shop for information on all the related health, environmental, energy, and economic issues stemming from the BP oil disaster.

Simply put, the Recovery Act was able to function more efficiently and effectively because of the Obama administration’s commitment to objective, verifiable, and publicly accessible information.

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