(Extensions of Remarks - April 26, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E564-E565]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                          HON. C.W. BILL YOUNG

                               of florida

                    in the house of representatives

                         Friday, April 26, 2013

  Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to reintroduce the 
SAFEGUARDS Act, legislation I have introduced for the past three 
Congressional sessions that is intended to address some of the issues 
surrounding the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and the subsequent 
federal response effort. Saturday marked the three-year anniversary of 
this catastrophic oil spill and the people of the Gulf are still 
waiting for the Congress to address the breakdowns in safety, oversight 
and response that were exposed during the spill. I have emphasized 
repeatedly that we owe it to those who perished in the explosion, as 
well those whose lives and businesses were impacted in the months that 
followed, to address the deficiencies in current federal policy.
   I am thankful that last year the Congress was able to pass the 
RESTORE Act that directs a large portion of the fines resulting from 
the Deepwater Horizon spill to the restoration of the Gulf region. 
While we do not know the full amount that will be available in this 
fund, I am certain that it will have a positive impact

[[Page E565]]

on future restoration, revitalization and research efforts in the Gulf, 
including in my state of Florida.
   However, I remain greatly concerned with continuing our work to 
ensure an oil spill of this magnitude is prevented from ever happening 
again. Fortunately, the beautiful beaches in my district were spared a 
direct oil impact during the spill but make no mistake, our cities and 
local industries were impacted, including tourism and our fisheries, 
causing great hardship for many in my area. My constituents fear the 
impact that a future spill could have on their homes, businesses and 
our local environment.
   While federal agencies have worked through the regulatory process to 
address some of deficiencies highlighted by the spill, most notably the 
Department of Interior's replacement of the Minerals Management Service 
with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and 
Enforcement, Congress has still not enacted comprehensive legislation. 
The members of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil 
Spill and Offshore Drilling (Oil Spill Commission), which issued their 
final report in January 2011, recently gave Congress a D-plus for 
failing to implement the recommendations made in the report.
   Multiple retrospective reviews of the oil spill and the response 
efforts have provided us with valuable information about what should be 
included in comprehensive legislation. This includes the report by the 
Oil Spill Commission, the Joint Investigation of Bureau of Ocean Energy 
Management, Regulation, and Enforcement and U.S. Coast Guard, and the 
BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Incident Specific Preparedness Review.
   As I stated last Congress, I was not surprised that many of the 
changes I recommended in the SAFEGUARDS Act were included in the Oil 
Spill Commission report, as my measure was developed following a series 
of meetings and regular phone calls with the on-the-ground incident 
commanders, local research teams and community emergency response 
personnel. It is my hope that the Congress will act on the solutions 
put forth in this measure and include it in a wider legislative 
response to ensure that we impose rigorous safety standards on any off-
shore platforms, while also establishing a fully thought out plan to 
respond to future disasters.
   We must stop waiting and act to address the systematic breakdowns 
that led to the BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. The SAFEGUARDS Act 
presents common sense solutions to help prevent a disaster of this 
magnitude from ever happening again, and improves the federal response 
in the event it ever does. Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to support 
this measure. We owe it to the American people and the entire Gulf 
Coast to pass oil spill response legislation during this session.