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“A Nightmare on Elm Street has been created and an immediate fix is necessary”

After an extensive assessment of the Gulf Oil spill site, and witnessing its devastating effects on local industries in Plaquemines Parish, Pointe a la Hache, Louisiana on Tuesday, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee moves forward to push government officials on the need to end the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We must move forward expeditiously to end this crisis and to determine the best route forward to lowering gas prices and ending our reliance on foreign oil,” Rep. Jackson Lee said.

Congresswoman Jackson Lee remains firm in her belief that there must be a balance between the prudent exploration of oil and protecting jobs and families in Houston and throughout the Gulf region as a result of the oil spill

“This is not just about BP. It is also about an industry that plays an integral role in our homeland security,” Jackson Lee said.

As Chair of the Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection, Congresswoman Jackson Lee believes that, “Congress must make whatever necessary changes to laws, regulations, and enforcement, so exploration can start back up as soon as possible after ending this unfortunate and catastrophic situation in the Gulf.”

Jackson Lee supports President Obama’s Commission on the Gulf Oil Spill, and stresses that we should provide the Commission an opportunity to gather fair and impartial facts about what caused this catastrophic and unprecedented situation.

“We should not be determining guilt until the jury [President Obama’s Commission and the U.S. Attorney General’s investigation] delivers its verdict,” Jackson Lee said.

The Congresswoman calls for these actions:

    (1) Immediate release of $100 million or more from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, which has more than $1 billion; increase the liability cap above $75 million;
    (2) Establish a separate mission for the U.S Coast Guard by adding enhanced training for Oil Spill Recovery and establishing a separate Oil Spill Recovery unit;
    (3) Immediately establish the jurisdiction for Oil Spill Recovery under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and establish a procedure for national emergencies when appropriate for oil spills, including an Emergency Declaration of an oil spill;
    (4) No issuance of permits without a fixed recovery plan and a “stop spill plan” filed with the necessary federal agencies and vetted by experts, if a company is engaged in deep water drilling;
    (5) A six-month lump sum payment to impacted businesses due to the recent oil spill, including the fishing industry;
    (6) Due to the recent Deep Water Horizon incident, an immediate meeting to be held in Texas with the U.S. Coast Guard and state and local officials to specifically prepare for oil spill intrusion into Texas Gulf waters due to hurricane activity;
    (7) There should be an industry-wide response on their efforts to saving jobs and positioning the industry in a positive position for advocating for the restoration of certain of types of drilling;
    (8) There should be an industry-wide commitment that includes effective procedures to protect the environment, save lives and save jobs;
    (9) The companies involved in this incident must immediately re-establish a process of recovery that generates funds from all of the companies to be utilized for compensation, saving jobs and protecting the environment; and
    (10) Congress must conduct a comprehensive review and immediate reform of Minerals Management Service (MMS).

Because Houston’s local economy is heavily vested in activities in the Gulf of Mexico, Jackson Lee remains proactive and vigilant in developing strategies to protect not only the environment, but also to protect jobs, businesses and individuals who may be adversely affected by the Gulf oil spill.

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