House Passes Bills for Safer Drilling


"House passed measures to develop technologies for safer drilling."

The U.S. House of Representatives passed measures to develop new technologies for deepwater drilling and cleaning up oil spills, the first legislation inspired by the BP Plc disaster to reach a floor vote.

One bill, passed on a voice vote today, aims to speed up the use of new ways to limit the damage from oil spills and aid the cleanup. Lawmakers said the booms and skiffs BP is using after the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico are the same as units employed in 1989 after the Exxon Valdez tanker crashed off the coast of Alaska.

"We heard time and again the technology they were using was inadequate," Representative Lynn Woolsey, a California Democrat, said in floor debate, commenting on hearings the House Science & Technology Committee held in response to the Gulf spill.

The House also passed on a voice vote a second BP-related bill, to fund research and development for safer oil and gas drilling at the Department of Energy.

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