Oceana statement from senior campaign director Jacqueline Savitz regarding the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico
Press Release Date: April 22, 2010
Location: Washington, D.C.
Oceana is dismayed to learn of yet another oil rig accident, potentially costing the lives of workers and leaving an environmental tragedy in its wake. This incident shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that oil industry claims of rig safety are off the mark. It’s not a matter of ‘whether’ there will be another accident or spill but ‘when.’
This tragedy in the Gulf and the last rig blowout in Australia both occurred within the past year. The frequency of these accidents certainly does not justify the use of the words “safe” or “clean” by this industry. Offshore drilling is a dirty and dangerous business, no matter how loudly the industry argues otherwise.
The loss of life and injury to workers is tragic. And the irony that this disaster is happening as the nation celebrates the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, and as Congress is poised to unveil its climate solutions bill cannot be escaped.
This event is a bitter reminder that offshore drilling is not safe, and that we need to be moving away from the dirty and dangerous energy choices of the past. Clean energy, like offshore wind, can take the place of much of our oil and gas demands – if we would only give it a chance. This would help reduce carbon dioxide emissions that are driving climate change, and ultimately put an end to accidents like this one once and for all.
We certainly hope that the climate legislation set to be released this Monday will not include an expansion of offshore drilling into areas that were previously protected and instead will stimulate the shift to the clean energy economy that we so desperately need.