Today, the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, a leading scientific journal of studies on environmental pollution, released a special issue devoted to monitoring and evaluating the effects and repercussions of oil spills.
The original research featured in this special issue includes:
The Trump administration has opened a public comment period on a new five-year offshore drilling program for oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf, paving the way for the expansion of drilling efforts into environmentally significant areas. The move follows an executive order issued in late April that aims to expand offshore drilling and exploration in U.S. waters. By freezing the expansion of any new marine sanctuaries and calling for a review of all marine national monuments created or expanded within the last 10 years, the executive order threatens marine protected areas designed to safeguard against the devastating impacts of oil spills. The pursuit of more dangerous offshore drilling by the Trump administration is in sharp contrast to the research findings published in this special issue.
“It can take years, if not decades, to fully understand the lasting impacts of an oil spill,” said Susan Murray, Oceana’s Deputy Vice President for the Pacific. “Oil was still being found in large quantities more than a decade after the Exxon Valdez spill. But oil spills don’t just impact marine life. It has been seven years since the BP disaster wreaked havoc on the Gulf and we’re still learning about its toll on human health and coastal economies. It’s absurd that the federal government is rushing to expand dirty and dangerous drilling into areas like the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific oceans. The Atlantic contains less than 4 percent of the nation’s total offshore oil reserves and there is no proven way to clean up an oil spill in Arctic sea ice. The studies published today reinforce how devastating, wide-ranging and unexpected the consequences of oil spills can be to marine life, coastal communities and economies.”