|Pass Protections for Environmental Whistleblowers|
News reports concerning the Gulf Oil Disaster paint a picture of executive greed, scientific studies ignored, and government regulations disregarded. As we read these articles, we are reminded of the words of then presidential candidate Obama, "Workers are the eyes and ears of enforcement." With the Deepwater Horizon explosion as one of the biggest and worst environmental disasters in history, we are left asking, where were the whistleblowers?
On the day of this terrible disaster, and on the days that led up to it, not a single employee who worked on the Deepwater Horizon rig or any other offshore oil rig was entitled to meaningful whistleblower protection! We know that a few brave employees raised their concerns and were silenced or ignored. We also know that the key laws that govern offshore drilling: the Outer Continental Shelf Act, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, and the Endangered Species Act, contain no whistleblower protections whatsoever.
Encouraging employees to blow the whistle is essential preventing catastrophes before they happen. Whistleblowers must be protected to ensure that workers who have the courage to testify against BP, Halliburton, Transocean and the corrupt regulators at the Minerals Management Service are encouraged to speak out and are fully protected.
Congress must immediately enact broad, effective whistleblower protections that cover the entire offshore drilling industry and its regulators. Congressmen Edward J. Markey (D - MA,7) and George Miller (D - CA,7) have introduced the Offshore Oil and Gas Worker Whistleblower Protection Act of 2011. This law must pass!
Take Action Now! Tell your representatives in Congress to enact H.R. 501 and H.R. 503, whistleblower legislation necessary to protect the employees in the offshore drilling industry who witness the blatant disregard for environmental and safety regulations every day.
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