Reaction from Oceana’s Jacqueline Savitz to the Obama Administration’s Decision to Lift the Deepwater Drilling Moratorium
Press Release Date: October 12, 2010
Location: Washington, D.C.
This is an incredibly disconcerting and unjustified move, that could open the door for the next great oil disaster. Oil spills are common. The question is not whether there will be another spill but when. While the recent BP spill occurred on a well permitted by a previous administration, and based on regulations that were not devised by the Obama administration, that will not be the case with the next spill.
When the Department of Interior devised its three criteria to be met before the moratorium would be lifted, they seemed reasonable. The industry would have to demonstrate that it could prevent a spill, contain a spill and respond to a spill. But those criteria have not been satisfied and therefore, lifting the moratorium is premature. Whether new safety requirements will be sufficient and whether they will be followed are open questions.
Another spill could happen tomorrow, next week or next month, and it may not be easy to contain, as we saw with the BP spill. The response to the next spill will likely look a lot like the response to the last one: insufficient. We witnessed with the BP spill that containment and response technology has not improved much over the past 30 years – our response was very similar to that of the IXTOC spill in 1979 — so it’s unlikely that response capabilities have improved since this year’s BP disaster.”
Oceana strongly urges the Obama Administration not to sacrifice our oceans, fisheries, coasts and all the people who depend on them to the oil industry. We have better energy options.”