Well, it’s official: oil has now made land in every Gulf Coast state.
With the sight of oil on a Texas beach, it’s clear that this spill is a full-out assault on the Gulf Coast.
And the news just keeps getting grimmer in Louisiana. Over the weekend, tar balls were sighted in Lake Pontchartrain, which borders New Orleans. That spells trouble for the region’s remaining working fishermen, many of whom have taken their boats to the lake since fishing in the Gulf came to a halt.
More than 115,000 people have signed our petition to stop offshore drilling. Will you?
Last week I met Cherie Pete, who operates a mom-and-pop style sandwich shop called Maw’s in the marshy lowlands of Boothville, LA – about two hours south of New Orleans.
Normally recreational fishermen stop by her shop to fuel up before deep-sea fishing trips in the Gulf. But with fishing restricted in most federal waters off the coast of southern Louisiana, Pete’s clientele base has disappeared.
“Normally we’d be swamped at this time,” she told me. Instead, the shopfront was nearly empty with only a few customers trickling by to purchase a cool drink in the 100-degree heat (including Brian Williams of NBC News who made a stopover with his camera crew.)
As BP prepares its “top kill” maneuver to stanch the Deepwater Horizon’s leak, oil continues to hit Louisiana’s wetlands and beaches, fouling sensitive habitats and marine life.
Officials reported yesterday that more than 300 sea birds, nearly 200 sea turtles and 19 dolphins have been found dead along the U.S. Gulf Coast since the spill started more than a month ago.
As a result, the images coming out of the gulf are increasingly heartbreaking, like these photos of the spill and its victims from Boston.com.
Oceana pollution campaign director Jackie Savitz was on the Diane Rehm show this morning for a second time since the spill discussing the long-term environmental consequences of the oil spill. Jackie was joined by Douglas Rader from the Environmental Defense Fund, Carys Louise Mitchelmore of the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory and William Hogarth from the University of South Florida. Have a listen here.
If you haven’t already, help us reach our goal of 500,000 petition signatures: tell Obama and Congress to stop offshore drilling today, and spread the word.
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:
...And more often than people think. Just days after the President offered up more of our coasts to the oil industry, an oil pipeline operated by Chevron Pipe Line Co leaked at least 18,000 gallons of crude oil into the Delta National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana.
This is another example of how dangerous exposure to an oil spill can potentially be to coastal wildlife and habitat, in a national wildlife refuge no less. Spills happen at every stage of oil production. Whether it is from drilling, pipelines, tankers, or refineries; a spill can occur at every stage of the oil production process. Then when we burn the oil, it contributes to climate change.
Big Oil would have us believe that spills are a thing of the past thanks to modern technology. Unfortunately, the facts play out otherwise. Oil spills are not rare occurrence. Almost one million gallons of oil enter the oceans of North America every year through extraction activities alone.