Tell Congress to Please Help the Victims of the Gulf Oil Spill

The PC(USA) Washington Office sent the following Action Alert as a part of its recent Witness in Washington Weekly email.  

Tell Congress to Please Help the Victims of the Gulf Oil Spill

As Congress prepares to depart Washington, DC for a month-long recess in August, the ecological and economic devastation from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill continues to wreak a terrible toll on the lives and livelihoods of millions of Gulf Coast residents and on the pristine natural health and beauty of coastal communities.  Federal action is needed now to begin addressing the health and ecological needs of the Gulf Coast region.

While BP has had some success in capping the leaking well, Gulf Coast citizens are now left to clean up and rebuild their communities, lacking both the support and resources that are critical to restoring the health and vitality of the entire Gulf Coast region.  The process of healing and rebuilding the Gulf region cannot succeed without critical action from the U.S. Congress in addressing the range of issues involved in oil and gas exploration in and near coastal communities, including addressing regulation and oversight, strengthening the social safety net, responding to the domestic human needs of families, and working to prevent future disasters.
Congress has failed to consider comprehensive energy and climate change legislation in this session, however, lawmakers do have an opportunity to respond to the ecological disaster in the Gulf by voting for the Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Company Accountability Act.  The Senate bill would eliminate the financial liability cap for damages caused by oil spills, reform the permitting and oversight processes for offshore oil and gas production, and establish a Gulf of Mexico Regional Citizens Advisory Council to include citizens' active participation in protecting coastal communities.  The bill would also implement the Home Star energy program, a package of strong incentives for residential energy efficiency improvements, helping millions of families to reduce their energy consumption and save thousands of dollars on their electricity bills.  The House has a similar, though not identical bill. 
Tell Congress not to leave town before they have answered the needs of the people affected by the oil spill.  Urge your member to vote for the Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Company Accountability Act to rebuild and restore the Gulf Region.
here to read a letter on the oil spill signed by Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and many other leaders of faith communities.
The National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Program is circulating a petition for your signature calling for Congress and the Administration to:
• Work with stakeholders
• Hold responsible parties accountable
• Ensure that help reaches those in need
• Commit to a long-term recovery
• Take steps to prevent future disasters
• Respond to yet-unknown needs

Click to sign the petition.
The Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Company Accountability Act
The Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Company Accountability Act will hold oil companies accountable for the damages caused by oil spills from the offshore facilities.  It would hold them financially responsible by eliminating the financial liability cap on damages and increase the amount that oil companies are required to pay into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.  The legislation also reforms and improves management and oversight of the regulatory agencies responsible for issuing permits and monitoring safety of the offshore oil facilities.
Summary of the Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Accountability Act 

General Assembly Guidance:

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