Oceana Commends NOAA on BP Settlement and Urges President to Protect Atlantic and Arctic from Similar Disasters
Press Release Date: October 6, 2015
Location: Washington, D.C.
Following the announcement that the United States had finalized a $20.8 billion settlement with BP over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Oceana’s vice president for the U.S. Jacqueline Savitz released the following statement:
“The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its federal and state partners should be commended on their excellent work demonstrating the damages and negotiating this settlement. It will allow an unprecedented amount of restoration which is so desperately needed in the Gulf of Mexico. BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion was an equally unprecedented, yet predictable disaster, and we hope that this settlement provides a deterrent to ensure that such a disaster never happens again.
However, if we continue to drill, and press into frontier areas like the Arctic and Atlantic, another spill is inevitable. While the settlement funds will bring welcome relief to ecosystems and people’s livelihoods that were devastated by the spill, it should also serve as a wakeup call to remind us that drilling for oil in our oceans is simply not worth the risk. Now is the time for the President to remove the Arctic and Atlantic from his drilling plan, to reduce the chances of having to negotiate another spill settlement. In the Arctic there would be no hope of any meaningful response, and in the Atlantic scores of coastal communities have clearly demanded their fishing and tourism economies be protected from oil and gas production. What better time to commit to protecting areas like the Atlantic and Arctic from offshore drilling, and to move toward clean energy solutions like offshore wind?
It is time to break the never-ending cycle of drill, spill, repeat. Hopefully this settlement will pave the way for a safer, cleaner, and sustainable future.”