The Denver Post: Udall measure aims to improve oil-drilling safety

Federal money would be redirected to develop improved onshore and offshore safety and oil-spill response technologies under a bill to be introduced this week by Sen. Mark Udall.

The measure, announced by the Democratic senator on Monday in Denver, will make oil-spill prevention and drilling safety a priority by tapping money from an industry-backed program to increase oil production within the Department of the Interior.

The research will include looking at blowout preventers, new cementing techniques and well casing systems — technologies that are between 20 and 40 years old, Udall said. Cleanup technologies, such as booms and skimmers, will be assessed as well.

“There is plenty of responsibility to go around,” Udall said. “My attitude is that, here’s what we’re going to learn from it and here’s what we’re going to do to prevent this from happening in the future, and that’s part of the rationale behind this legislation.”

Udall said he also added his signature, alongside Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet’s and other lawmakers’, to a letter asking BP chief executive Tony Hayward to establish a $20 billion cleanup fund.

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