FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
CONTACT: MARA LEE
WASHINGTON, DC– Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-05) participated in the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Environment hearing on “Drilling Down on America’s Energy Future: Safety, Security and Clean Energy.” In the hearing, Rep. Matsui emphasized that BP must be held fully accountable for the spill, and that their first priority must be to stop the leak from continuing to spread, and to ensure that the clean-up efforts are carried out to protect our coastal communities and the families whose livelihoods depend on them. But Matsui also said that it is incumbent upon all of us to make certain this never happens again – and the way to do that is to reduce America’s dependence on oil. Rep. Matsui’s opening statement, as prepared for delivery, is below:
“The families of those who lost their lives or have had their livelihoods severely impacted by this disaster of unprecedented proportions deserve our unconditional support. Now as we continue to seek answers from BP and others about the cause of the accident, we must hold those responsible accountable.
“The first priority for BP must be to stop the leak from continuing to spread and to ensure that the clean-up efforts are carried out to protect our coastal communities and the families whose livelihoods depend on them. And it is incumbent upon all of us to make certain this never happens again.
“The unfortunate part about this is that we have been here before. I remember - more than 40 years ago - when Union Oil’s Platform A exploded off the coast of my home state. My concern is that today could be like 1969 all over again and that we are setting ourselves us for another four decades of ‘more of the same.’
“So the questions I have today are: What has changed? What can the oil companies tell us today to assure us that this story is not simply repeating itself? Because what the Gulf region and the American people do not need to hear now are the same excuses that were employed decades ago about oil being our largest and most reliable energy option.
“In fact, the BP Oil spill underscores the need to look beyond oil production and consumption and invest in cleaner alternatives that will create jobs and save our environment from harm. If we are to learn anything from this disaster it is that we must continue to explore clean-tech alternatives to Big Oil. Today’s hearing is a step in that direction.”