Oceana Applauds Department of the Interior for Ensuring Better Safety and Environmental Review of Gulf Offshore Oil and Gas Activities - Oceana USA

Oceana Applauds Department of the Interior for Ensuring Better Safety and Environmental Review of Gulf Offshore Oil and Gas Activities

Department of the Interior Announces Precautionary, Science-Based Approach to Deepwater Management Decisions

Press Release Date: August 16, 2010

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Dustin Cranor, APR 954.348.1314

Oceana applauds Secretary Salazar and Director Bromwich on their decisions to undertake a comprehensive review of the Department of Interior’s National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) process and to limit the use of categorical exclusions for deepwater exploration and other drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf. Salazar and Bromwich also announced that the Department of Interior (DOI) will conduct a new environmental analysis in the Gulf of Mexico that will help provide information to guide future leasing and development decisions.  Oceana encourages DOI to continue this leadership by taking a similar precautionary approach to other oil and gas decisions, especially upcoming decisions in the challenging Arctic environment.

“While it is a shame it took a monumental tragedy to get this kind of review, we are very encouraged to see this kind of leadership from DOI and expect similar precaution in Arctic oil and gas decisions,” said Susan Murray, Oceana’s Pacific Director. “This is a perfect opportunity for Secretary Salazar and Director Bromwich to establish a new era of looking before leaping; a precautionary, science–based approach to management is necessary to prevent future environmental disasters from the Gulf to the Arctic.”

Despite the apparent climate differences, the Arctic and the Gulf of Mexico share similarities in their vibrant and unique communities, abundance of marine life, and essential coastal habitats. While we must end our addiction to oil, if areas such as these are going to be developed it is crucial proper science has been conducted and sufficient response capabilities are available before activities are considered.                                                                                                    

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Oceana campaigns to protect and restore the world’s oceans. Our teams of marine scientists, economists, lawyers and advocates win specific and concrete policy changes to reduce pollution and to prevent the irreversible collapse of fish populations, marine mammals and other sea life. Global in scope and dedicated to conservation, Oceana has campaigners based in North America, Europe and South and Central America. More than 400,000 members and e-activists in over 150 countries have already joined Oceana. For more information, please visit www.Oceana.org.