Oceana Reacts to Oil Spill "National Emergency” off Trinidad and Tobago - Oceana USA

Oceana Reacts to Oil Spill “National Emergency” off Trinidad and Tobago

Press Release Date: February 14, 2024

Location: Washington, D.C.


Cory Gunkel, Megan Jordan | email: cgunkel@oceana.org, mjordan@oceana.org | tel: Cory Gunkel, 202.868.4061

In response to the recent oil spill from an overturned vessel off the coast of Trinidad and Tobago, cited a “national emergency” by the government, Oceana Campaign Associate and Trinidad and Tobago national Alexcia Best released the following statement: 

“Oil and oceans don’t mix, and this disastrous oil spill from an overturned vessel off Trinidad and Tobago is the latest destructive example. Our hearts go out to the people of Trinidad and Tobago dealing with the impacts of this devastating oil spill. As a Trinidad and Tobago national, I am personally hurt by this sudden crisis. The natural beauty of Tobago is a significant attraction for tourism, and this oil spill is a direct threat to that beauty. We’ve seen firsthand that toxic oil spills tarnish beaches, kill wildlife, and hurt the coastal communities that rely on healthy oceans. Oil spills have dangerous impacts on oceans, fisheries, people, and coastal economies that last for years. This catastrophe in Trinidad and Tobago was unforeseen, but there are spills that can be prevented before they happen. Offshore drilling for oil and gas, and the spills that come with it, exacerbate the climate crisis we face by polluting our air and our environment. Time and again we’ve seen the devastation these spills have wrought. It is time to permanently protect our coasts from offshore drilling and stop rolling the dice with spills in U.S. waters. Offshore drilling is reckless – period. President Biden must permanently protect our coasts from new offshore drilling before we have to declare our own national emergency over the next spill in this dangerous gamble of drilling and spilling.”

2021 analysis by Oceana found that protecting all unleased federal waters from offshore drilling in the United States could prevent over 19 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions. That is the equivalent of taking every car in the nation off the road for 15 years. Ending new leasing could also prevent more than $720 billion in damage to people, property, and the environment. 

For more information about Oceana’s efforts to stop the expansion of offshore drilling, please click here.