The Beacon

Blog Tags: Deepwater Horizon

Ted Talks Drilling on Larry King Live

Oceana board member Ted Danson was on Larry King Live last night sounding off on offshore drilling. It’s an issue near and dear to Danson; he has been an outspoken critic of  offshore oil and gas development for decades.

If you're as incensed as he is, sign our petition to stop offshore drilling and pass it on.

 


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Spill May Be Headed for Florida Keys

It’s hard to believe it has been almost a month since the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank, and yet this weekend was the first sign of any kind of progress to contain the disaster bleeding into the Gulf.

Using a mile-long “insertion tube” to siphon the oil to a tanker ship, BP captured some of the oil gushing from the Gulf of Mexico seabed -- though the company still hasn't made any progress toward actually stopping the flow.

Scientists from NOAA are worried that the still-gushing oil spill will enter the powerful Loop Current, if it hasn’t already, which would take it through the biodiverse barrier reef that makes up the Florida Keys and up the East Coast.


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New Climate Bill Bribes States, Risks Coastlines

Yesterday, Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman unveiled their climate change bill. As you know, the U.S.’s consideration of any climate change legislation is historic – but in the light of the Deepwater Drilling Disaster, the senators’ proposal leaves me dismayed.

The “American Power Act” trades away our oceans to the oil industry even as at least 5,000 barrels of oil continue to gush from the broken Deepwater Horizon pipeline every day.  Here’s the first released video of the broken pipeline spewing oil:


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Oil Spill Blame Game Misses the Point

There was plenty of finger pointing at this week’s Congressional oil spill hearings.

The chairman of BP America, Lamar McKay, said BP is responsible for cleaning up the spill, but he blamed Transocean for the failure of the safety seal.

Then Transocean CEO Steven Newman said that since BP is the operator, the spill is ultimately the oil giant’s fault. And Halliburton executive Tim Probert denied that flaws in his company's cement contributed to the leak.

Meanwhile, oil continues to flow, uninterrupted, into the Gulf of Mexico.

But what the company executives and government officials fail to recognize is that the oil spill is not the fault of one company -- it represents an endemic lack of accountability from the oil industry and government agencies as a whole. The catastrophe isn’t the result of one mistake, it’s the result of a fundamentally broken system.


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Sign the Petition: Stop the Drill

In response to Oilmageddon, as some of us have taken to calling it, we created this brand new PSA and website, http://oceana.org/stopthedrill. Watch it, sign the petition, and pass it on!


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Oilmageddon Continues Apace

Andy Sharpless (fourth from left) talks to Senator Bill Nelson (far left) and environmental advocates. © Oceana/Lindsay Orlowski

The Deepwater Drilling Disaster continues without resolution, as the first reports of sea turtles washing up on shore are starting to trickle in, and local fishermen are reluctantly accepting jobs working as cleanup crew for the company that has ruined their livelihoods.

As the oil continues to gush from Deepwater’s broken pipe at rates that cannot be accurately determined, we are looking at an oil disaster that will surpass Exxon Valdez in a matter of weeks, if it hasn’t already.

But this tragedy has galvanized opposition to offshore drilling.

Two notable developments have taken place this week already. On Tuesday, I was honored to speak to press in the shadow of the Capitol alongside Senators Bill Nelson, Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, as well as the executive directors of the Sierra Club and Environment America.


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Oceana Joins Senators in Opposition to New Drilling

andy sharpless

Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless © Oceana/Lindsay Orlowski

Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless joined three Senators at a press conference on the oil spill yesterday, and he called on President Obama and Congress to ban new offshore drilling.

"I will make it short and to the point," said Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida). "The president's proposal for offshore drilling is dead on arrival.” Senator Nelson was joined by New Jersey Democratic Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez.

The Senators also vowed to keep new oil drilling provisions out of any climate change legislation that comes out of the Senate, and Senator Menendez has introduced new legislation to raise the limit on the amount of money oil companies could be forced to pay for economic damages from catastrophic oil spills. 


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The Spill: What You Can Do

As the first reports of wildlife covered in oil come in, several of you have contacted or commented asking how you can help with the recovery efforts in the Gulf.

Here’s a list of places you can volunteer, let us know in the comments if you have heard of other organizations accepting/needing volunteers.

  • You can register through OilSpillVolunteers.com to volunteer or join a cleanup organization.
  • The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL) is accepting volunteers. Register on their website.
  • The Mobile Baykeeper is asking for volunteers. Call 251-433-4229.
  • The Audubon Society is looking for help. You can report oiled wildlife at 1-866-557-1401. To report areas with oil ashore or to leave contact information to volunteer in the affected areas, call 1-866-448-5816.
  • The BP Volunteer Hotline has set up numbers if you need to report injured wildlife or damage related to the spill. You can also request volunteer information at 866-448-5816.


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Offshore Drilling at Any Cost?

The latest accident on the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig couldn't have come at a more significant time for the efforts to pass comprehensive climate change and energy legislation. With Senate plans to expand and even incentivize offshore drilling, this accident serves as a reminder of how costly offshore drilling truly is.

Despite advances in drilling technology and all of the precautions made, drilling is a high risk business and even the newest technology cannot prevent all spills. Fires, explosions and accidents are more common than they would like you to believe. New technology advances have pushed the envelope for drilling efforts. Expanding drilling activities into these “frontier” areas only increases the risk.

Take away for the moment the immediate danger to personnel on the rigs and look at the potential environmental and economic costs to coastal towns relying on fishing and tourism. Oceana's federal policy director, Beth Lowell discussed the dangers last night on NBC Nightly News:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


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