"Oil is a dominant source of energy in the United States, accounting for approximately 37% of total energy consumption in 2016. Its use is widespread, providing fuel for the transportation, industrial, and residential sectors. Vast quantities of oil continuously enter the country via vessel or pipeline. Vast quantities continually move throughout the country to various destinations. With such widespread use and nonstop movement, it is inevitable that some number of spills will occur. This report provides background information regarding oil spills and identifies the legal authorities and processes for oil spill prevention, response, liability, and compensation. The first section highlights background issues, including oil spill statistics and potential environmental impacts. The second section discusses the legal and regulatory framework that governs oil spill prevention and response."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33705
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html