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Monday, March 14, 2011

Oil Spill Legislation in the 112th Congress

Jonathan L. Ramseur
Specialist in Environmental Policy

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico continues to generate interest in a variety of oil spill-related issues. This report summarizes key provisions of selected legislative proposals in the 112th Congress that address oil spill-related policy issues, many of which were raised after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident.

This report focuses primarily on oil spill policy matters that concern prevention, preparedness, response, liability and compensation, and Gulf restoration. For the most part, the underlying statutes for these provisions are found in either the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA, P.L. 101-380; 33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.), the Clean Water Act (CWA) and its amendments (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.), or the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) and its amendments (43 U.S.C. § 1331 et seq.).

As of the date of this report, the most comprehensive proposal is H.R. 501 (Markey). This proposal includes many of the provisions that were part of H.R. 3534 (CLEAR Act), which passed the House in the 111
th Congress on July 30, 2010. In addition, H.R. 501 seeks to implement some of the recommendations offered in the final report (January 2011) from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

Date of Report: March 11, 2011
Number of Pages: 15
Order Number: R41684
Price: $29.95

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