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Congress turns to task of preventing another Gulf oil spill

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"The dust is still all up in the air with so many amendments still to be considered," says Chris Mann, director of the Campaign for Healthy Oceans at the Pew Environment Group. "But we think it's clear that there's a lot more enforcement being built into the new law with more consideration of wind power and other offshore resources, not just oil and gas."

For example, the law would require much more detailed consultation between offshore regulators and other agencies including the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency, Mr. Mann says. If the other agencies' recommendations were overridden by offshore regulators, the regulators would be required to make those reasons public, Mr. Mann says.

The law would require "meaningful blowout and worst-case scenario response plans." Drilling applicants would have to demonstrate that their technology has been shown to actually work in worst-case oil releases in the past.

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