Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and chairman of its Water and Wildlife Subcommittee, today called for the Senate to heed the lessons of the BP oil spill and move forward promptly on clean energy legislation.
“The BP spill is a reminder of the urgent need of forging a new energy policy that weans us off oil as quickly as possible. We need an energy policy in this country that makes us more secure, generates domestic jobs to bolster our economy, and protects the environment. It’s imperative to base that policy on honest, accurate assessments of risks and benefits. Too much of the information we have heard about the BP spill these past several days indicates that the parties involved – including the Federal Government – systematically understated the risks involved in deep water drilling.
“We are scrambling now to mitigate what could be a catastrophic loss in the Gulf of Mexico, one of the most important breeding, nesting, wintering, and migration corridors in the world. I hope we will learn from what is happening in the Gulf and not put other communities at such risk. I’m not anxious to find out what the effects of this spill would be on the Chesapeake Bay, Assateague, and Ocean City in my home state of Maryland if the BP spill gets into what’s known as the ‘loop current,’ which could carry the oil to and around the Florida Keys and up the Atlantic Coast.
“I’m relieved that the President has suspended Lease Sale 220, an offshore area just 50 miles east of the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay. It’s not a permanent ban but it’s a start. I think we need to have a permanent ban that stops further exploration in new areas, particularly along the Atlantic. There is a better way to power America.”