SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)_ A Bay Area Congressman made his voice heard in the sweeping legislation passed by the House, to regulate oil drilling.

George Miller wants to protect the environment and the rights of workers who blow the whistle on safety violations.

“No longer will the American taxpayer have to suffer irresponsible drillers,” said Miller.

Drillers, in his estimation, like BP. 

The legislation would remove a liability cap for spill damages.

“We want to make sure that people understand that these drillers in the future will have unlimited liability for the kinds of spills that we witnessed over the last hundred days,”  said Miller.

Under one amendment, Miller tacked on new offshore oil leases or drilling permits to any company with an egregious worker safety and environmental record.  Miller has said BP has had 800 violations in the past seven years, a record he calls “atrocious”.

Miller also added an amendment to protect oil rig workers when things don’t seem right or if they think it’s an unsafe operation.

At least one of the workers killed on the rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico spill was concerned about safety, told his wife he was worried.

Opponents of the Democratic-drafted legislation are accusing Congress of acting in haste, in passing laws that could stifle oil exploration in the U.S. leading to further dependence on foreign oil.


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