CSSJR 40(RES): Urging the Congress to amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 with respect to the financial responsibility requirements for offshore exploration and production facilities.
00CS FOR SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 40(RES) 01 Urging the Congress to amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 with respect to the 02 financial responsibility requirements for offshore exploration and production 03 facilities. 04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 WHEREAS the Congress enacted the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 in order to prevent 06 shipping accidents and to ensure that there would be adequate money immediately available 07 to respond to oil pollution discharges, especially those discharges occurring in the ocean; and 08 WHEREAS the Act increased from $36,000,000 to $150,000,000 the amount of 09 financial responsibility that must be demonstrated by offshore exploration and production 10 facilities; and 11 WHEREAS the definition of "offshore" in the Act covers facilities in, on, or under 12 navigable waters of the United States; and 13 WHEREAS the Alaska State Legislature is concerned that this definition may be 14 interpreted to apply to all marinas, port authorities, utility companies, gas stations, trucking
01 companies, railroads, pipelines, farms, and airports in almost every area of Alaska; and 02 WHEREAS the potential effect on the Alaska economy could be severe because it is 03 unlikely that any but the largest companies will be able to demonstrate the $150,000,000 of 04 financial responsibility required under the Act; and 05 WHEREAS the broad coverage of the Act is well beyond the historical purview of 06 the Minerals Management Service, United States Department of the Interior, which enforces 07 the Act; and 08 WHEREAS the Act provides a sliding scale for proof of financial responsibility for 09 vessels but requires $150,000,000 of proof of financial responsibility for all offshore facilities, 10 regardless of risk to the environment from a potential spill; and 11 WHEREAS the Alaska State Legislature agrees with the requirements of the Act to 12 the extent that they relate to large companies conducting offshore activities on the outer 13 continental shelf, but does not agree that the same financial responsibility requirements should 14 apply to small companies that are only indirectly related to offshore activities; 15 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the Congress to amend 16 the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 so that the financial responsibility requirements of persons 17 involved in oil operations more closely reflect the relative risks of those operations; and be 18 it 19 FURTHER RESOLVED that, in particular, facilities on the outer continental shelf 20 should be the only facilities subject to the kind of high financial responsibility requirements 21 now contained in the Act. 22 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Al Gore, Vice-President of 23 the United States and President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Robert C. Byrd, President 24 Pro Tempore of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Thomas S. Foley, Speaker of the U.S. House 25 of Representatives; and to the Honorable Ted Stevens and the Honorable Frank Murkowski, 26 U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska 27 delegation in Congress.