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Senate Proceeding 06-23-10 on Jun 23rd, 2010 :: 0:00:45 to 0:11:05
Total video length: 5 hours 7 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Bill Nelson

0:00:23 to 0:00:45( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: mr. nelson: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, in my at least weekly report to the senate about what's happening down on the gulf coast, i'm sad to report to you that as of this moment that one of the remote

Bill Nelson

0:00:45 to 0:11:05( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Bill Nelson

Bill Nelson

0:00:46 to 0:01:07( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: operating vehicles has bumped into that top hat process that was funneling the oil off of the big structure, the blowout prevter, from the pipe, the riseer pipe, with the result that all of that oil now is not being siphoned off.

Bill Nelson

0:01:08 to 0:01:28( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: and the estimates now are upwards and probably pretty close to 60,000 barrels a day of oil gushing in to t gulf of mexico. remember it started off it was

Bill Nelson

0:01:29 to 0:01:50( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: only 1,000 barrels a day. then it was only 5,000 barrels a day. then it was maybe 12,000 barrels a day, but max 20,000 barrels a day. and senator boxer and i were able to get the streaming video out so that the scientists could

Bill Nelson

0:01:51 to 0:02:14( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: look and they could make their estimates, their calculations. anyway, it's gone on and on, mr. president. it's now up to 60,000 barrels of oil a day. the oil industry had said that they had started siphoning off, first it was 10,000, then it was 15,000. they were trying to get it up to 25,000.

Bill Nelson

0:02:15 to 0:02:36( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: and now, since there was this accident, that is being shut down. let's hope just very temporarily. but we're now back to the point that most of the oil is gushing back in to the gulf, and we know the result. if this continues for another

Bill Nelson

0:02:37 to 0:02:57( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: two months to the end of the summer, it's going to fill up the gulf with oil and it's going to do just what it's doing now. when the wind comes this way, it brings the oil from the south to the north. brings it in onshore. and the oil is now all the way

Bill Nelson

0:02:58 to 0:03:19( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: from the well head off of louiana, all the way across the gulf coast of northwest florida. the blessing that we have had, mr. president, is that the wind has kept most of it off the coast. but inevitably, when the wind

Bill Nelson

0:03:20 to 0:03:40( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: rises up in the south it brings the tar balls up. it brought some of that terrible-looking orange mousse. when i saw that and to think the

Bill Nelson

0:03:41 to 0:04:04( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: tides and the wind were bringing itowntown to pensacola. that's what we're having to deal with. mr. president, tomorrow the energy committees having a hearing on legislation that senator mendez and i have passed -- have sponsored.

Bill Nelson

0:04:05 to 0:04:27( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: and what -- this is to rectify the situation that brought us to this in the first place, and that is the safety checks weren't made, application to the detail were not made, the checks were notade to see that the backup devices on the blowout preventer were in fact going to be there. in other words, the oil

Bill Nelson

0:04:28 to 0:04:48( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: regulator, the part of the u.s. government that is supposed to do all of these safety checks, it was not functioning. and why was it not functioning? because for better than a decade, there has been a cozy relationship between the oil industry and the regulator

Bill Nelson

0:04:49 to 0:05:10( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: called the minerals management service in the department of interior. and that regulator was so compromised by gifts, by trips, by jobs; indeed, i'm sad to

Bill Nelson

0:05:11 to 0:05:34( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: report the 2008 inspector general's report there were parties, there was booze, there was drugs, there were illicit sexual relationships going on between the industry and the government regulators. how can you have government regulation under these conditions?

Bill Nelson

0:05:35 to 0:05:55( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: and, of course, there was the revolving door. now, the revolving door, as happens in other regulated industries as well, but this one was particularly revolving and revolving and revolving.

Bill Nelson

0:05:56 to 0:06:18( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: and what that is is somebody would come out of the o industry, they'd go through the revolving door. th'd go right into the government regulator shop. and they'd stay thereor awhile, and they'd supposedly be be an independent regulator. but, no, the door would revolve again, and they would then go

Bill Nelson

0:06:19 to 0:06:41( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: right back out of the government job back into the oil industry the, the very industry that they were supposed to be regulating before. now, is that a conflict of interest? you bet it is. can you have an independent regulator? of course you can under those circumstances.

Bill Nelson

0:06:42 to 0:07:04( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: and so senator mendez and i have filed a bill. as a matter of fact, we had this back in 2008 when that inspector general's report came out, and we couldn't get anybody to pay any attention to it back then. and what is the result of lax regulation? it is exactly what has been

Bill Nelson

0:07:05 to 0:07:26( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: visited upon us, this trauma that so many people in the region of the gulf of mexico are suffering. and so, as the administration goes about the process of cleaning up the minerals management service, reorganizing

Bill Nelson

0:07:27 to 0:07:50( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: it, getting new personnel, then it's up to us to change the law to make sure that there are penalties, indeed even criminal penalties for gifts and trips by the very industry that you are supposedly regulating, which in

Bill Nelson

0:07:54 to 0:08:14( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: this case claimed 11 lives and countless jobs and livelihoods and a whole way of life and a culture along the gulf coast. and so, the bill that will be heard tomorrow kh-rbgs we are great -- tomorrow, which we are

Bill Nelson

0:08:15 to 0:08:39( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: grateful for, sets new penalties. it sets a limit, a mere two years, that someone comes out of the government regulator's office, they can't be employed in that oil industry that they have just regulated until a

Bill Nelson

0:08:40 to 0:09:02( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: period of time of two years have lapsed. and it also provides the penalties for the gifts, the trips, the favors that we have seen chronicled, not in my words but in the words of the 2008

Bill Nelson

0:09:03 to 0:09:24( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: inspector general's report. the report two months ago, inspector general's report, and the report a month ago, the inspector general's report. and this last report, he particularly talked about the revolving door. and it's something that we have

Bill Nelson

0:09:25 to 0:09:46( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: to change. so, mr. president, sadly, it's taken the biggest environmental disaster in u.s. history, but because of this tragic condition, this congress ought to be poised now to crack down on the government's buddy-buddy

Bill Nelson

0:09:47 to 0:10:08( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: relationships with the oil industry. and so the senate energy committee tomorrow is set to begin debating legislation aimed at cutting the oil drillers' close ties to the industry and aimed at stopping that revolving door.

Bill Nelson

0:10:09 to 0:10:29( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: and it's going to prohibit the employees of the minerals management service or its successor since secretary of interior ken salazar has started busting it up, they're going to have to wait around two years fore they get a job back in the industry.

Bill Nelson

0:10:30 to 0:10:50( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: and the goal is obvious, to limit the degree of influence that big oil has on those that are hired to keep the drillers in line. so, mr. president, it's the let that we can do for those

Bill Nelson

0:10:51 to 0:11:09( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: folks down home that are suffering so much right now. they expect us to update laws to meet the times. this is such a

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