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Fossil Fools In Congress Vote For Risky Oil Pipeline, Then Vote Against Funds To Deal With Oil Spill Liability

Yesterday, U.S. Representative Lois Capps offered a legislative amendment that would have increased funding for the Pipeline Safety Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. The increase in funding is sorely needed because fossil fuels companies are constructing new pipelines for crude oil and gas at an alarming rate.

When pipelines fail, the results are disastrous. Most prominently in the news of late is the oil spill in Santa Barbara, California that fouled park seashores and killed huge amounts of marine life. Other pipeline spills happen all the time. Just yesterday, a Conoco Phillips pipeline burst near Orcutt, California.

congress sepiaGiven the huge amount of waste of fossil fuels in our country, there’s good reason for skepticism of the Drill Baby Drill agenda that calls for pipelines to crisscross the USA. However, if we’re going to have more oil and gas pipelines, we ought to at least have adequate funding of the liability fund that takes care of inevitable pipeline accidents when they happen.

The members of Congress who voted against the Capps amendment chose to go in the opposite direction – to deny adequate liability funding to deal with the destructive pollution that results from spills from fossil fuels pipelines. What makes this particularly astonishing is that 96.8 percent of the members of Congress who voted against increasing funding for the oil spill liability trust fund yesterday voted in favor of approving the Keystone XL pipeline earlier this year.

They want to increase the risk of oil spills, while keeping our nation’s capacity for cleaning up oil spills the same. Even supporters of the Drill Baby Drill mentality ought to be able to recognize the flaw in this plan.

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