"Members in the 112th Congress continue to express concerns regarding various oil spill-related policy matters. However, oil spill-related legislative activity in the 112th Congress has diminished compared to the 111th Congress. The House passed H.R. 3408 (the PIONEERS Act) on February 15, 2012; the act would create a Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund in the U.S. Treasury, financed by 80% of any Deepwater Horizon-related penalties, settlements, and fines under Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 311. The Trust Fund would be used to 'restore the ecosystems and economy of the Gulf Coast region. Unlike similar legislative proposals (e.g., S. 1400, which the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works reported on December 11, 2011), the monies in the Trust Fund would not be immediately available, but would require further congressional action to appropriate the funds. [...] In addition, the House has passed several bills intended to encourage oil and gas development on the OCS [Outer Continental Shelf]. The Senate has not reported analogous legislation. In 2011 the Secretary of the Department of the Interior (DOI) initiated a series of reforms aimed at replacing the former regulatory agency, the Minerals Management Service (MMS). Secretary Salazar redefined the responsibilities previously performed by MMS and reassigned the functions of the offshore energy program among three separate organizations: the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), and the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR). BOEM and BSEE are charged with managing procedures for leases and operations, ONRR for revenue management."
CRS Report for Congress, R42371