Immediate Release: Contact: Nicolette Nye
Friday, July 30, 2010 (202) 347-6900
NOIA Response to Passage of CLEAR Act
Kills Jobs, Decreases Energy Security and Does Little to Improve Safety
WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives today passed the CLEAR Act by a vote of 209 to 193.
Should this measure become law, the end result will be more dependence on foreign oil and more American jobs lost, not only in the Gulf of Mexico, but throughout the country by industries that supply materials and equipment used in the production and exploration of energy. The consequences would reach those who make clothing, boots, drill bits, safety equipment and supply materials such as steel.
”We remain opposed to this bill becoming law,” said Burt Adams, Chairman of the National Ocean Industries Association. “Fortunately, House Members now head home where they will get an earful from those whose jobs and lives will be adversely affected.”
”The House has christened a ship that -- should it reach its destination -- will drive up the costs of producing home-grown oil and gas and make it more difficult for independent energy producers to compete in the domestic market,” said Adams.
Unlimited liability, unsubstantiated standards of financial responsibility, a $2 per barrel tax on oil to fund unrelated programs, mandating a technical fix for blow out preventers before knowing the cause of the accident, and the addition of myriads of reviews and clearances -- all of these create an overall burden that may drive many independent producers out of the energy market. “It is truly death by a thousand cuts, “said Adams.
To give credit where some credit is due, however, the House did approve the concept that companies may pool their financial resources to demonstrate a level of financial capability. NOIA fully endorses this concept, but fears that by retaining unlimited liability, the bill may simply be rearranging the deck chairs.
NOIA is supportive of the concept of lifting the deepwater drilling moratorium, however while well intentioned, the language adopted by the House not only misses the mark, but the entire target. “The House has lost a golden opportunity to pass a clean lifting of the job killing moratorium,” said Adams.
“We fully support increased awareness and safety in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico accident. There are many safety and procedural safeguards that could, and should, be put in to immediate effect, and some are already underway,” said Adams. “Unfortunately the passage of CLEAR does little to increase actual safety and is a job killer.”
NOIA is the only national trade association representing all segments of the offshore industry with an interest in the exploration and production of both traditional and renewable energy resources on the nation’s outer continental shelf. The NOIA membership comprises more than 250 companies engaged in business activities ranging from producing to drilling, engineering to marine and air transport, offshore construction to equipment manufacture and supply, telecommunications to finance and insurance.