I recently wrote to my Senators regarding the BP oil spill. This is my response from Senator Al Franken:
Thank you for contacting me about the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I appreciate you taking the time to share your concerns with me on this critical issue.
As you know, on April 20, 2010, an explosion occurred on the Deep Water Horizon oil rig off the coast of Louisiana, leaving 11 workers dead. The rig caught fire and sank, spilling millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. This oil spill is a travesty -- it has devastated the environment, the economy, and the way of life for many communities along the Gulf Coast. I've been deeply disappointed by BP's neglect of safety and lack of progress in stopping the leak in the Gulf. This accident has also exposed the federal government's woefully inadequate oversight of the drilling industry.
First and foremost, every method at our disposal must be deployed to contain and clean-up the ongoing oil leak. Just as importantly, BP must be held responsible for all costs incurred as a result of the oil spill. By all accounts BP had no viable plan in place to deal with an accident of this magnitude. This is unacceptable, and taxpayers must not be left holding the bag. That's why I've cosponsored S. 3472, the Big Oil Bailout Prevention Unlimited Liability Act, which would eliminate the oil spill liability cap that currently limits economic damages paid by oil companies to $75 million. I am also an original cosponsor of S. 3462, which would grant subpoena power to President Obama's Oil Spill Commission that is investigating BP. This will ensure that the bipartisan commission has access to all the evidence it needs to fully investigate the causes of the spill and make meaningful recommendations on how to prevent similar disasters.
This spill is a call to action -- it is time to pass comprehensive energy and climate legislation to end our country's dependence on fossil fuels and transition to clean, renewable energy sources like wind, biofuels, and biomass from Minnesota. Please be assured that I will continue to closely monitor the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and will keep your thoughts in mind should legislation regarding offshore drilling come before the Senate for consideration.
Thank you again for contacting me, and I look forward to hearing from you in the future on this or any other matter of concern to you.
United States Senator
Have any of you written to your Senators or Representatives? If so, what type of response did you receive?