On Anniversaries of Deepwater Horizon Disaster, Long-term Damage Looms

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Oceana Urges Administration and Congress to Ban All Offshore Drilling Indefinitely, including Planned Drilling in Arctic Ocean

On the one month anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster, ocean conservation group Oceana urges the Obama administration to ban new offshore drilling immediately and permanently.  Oceana also urges an immediate suspension of planned exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean, specifically the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.

“Our oceans need a break,” said senior campaign director Jacqueline Savitz. “The damage on the Gulf Coast has just begun and will take many years, possibly decades, before we truly know how much we lost, both in dollars and in marine wildlife. Gulf coast communities and economies will be paying the costs of this tragedy for years to come.”

“Offshore drilling is a dirty and dangerous business. We are pushing the limits of the environment and technology, while increasing the chances of catastrophe. The damage done by the Deepwater drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico reveals the high costs of an industry that has been allowed, through a laissez faire regulatory environment, to gamble the health of a great national asset  — the economic engine in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. When will we stop putting the interests of the oil industry above the interests of coastal communities and marine wildlife?”

“As the Gulf incident unfolds, it becomes more and more clear that we simply do not have the technology to prevent a spill or clean one up.  Deployment of booms is largely proving ineffective, with booms washing up on beaches, away from where they belong.  Dispersants increase the toxicity and availability of the oil to marine life.  Blowout preventers fail, cofferdams fail and no solution has been found, even a month after the accident occurred.  It is clear the only way to prevent such a disaster from occurring is to stop future offshore drilling.”

“So today, Oceana calls on President Obama and Congress to place an immediate and permanent ban on new offshore drilling and to suspend exploratory drilling that is planned for the Arctic this summer.”

“The oil and gas industry has dominated energy policy for too long.  They have privatized record-high profits and socialized many costs of offshore drilling.  Oceana urges policymakers to protect the economic interests of all Americans by investing in cleaner, safer energy choices that would create more jobs and stimulate our economy, without putting coastal livelihoods and marine ecosystems at risk.” concluded Savitz.

Oceana, an international ocean conservation group, works to restore and protect the world’s oceans. For more information, please visit http://www.Oceana.org.