As Gulf oil spill worsens, NWF urges reassessment of America's energy priorities

President Obama suspends new offshore drilling leases

04-30-2010 // Aileo Weinmann
Gulf Oil Spill - Aerial Photo

President Obama announced today that no new offshore drilling leases will be issued until an extensive investigation of the oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico is concluded. This announcement comes as crude oil leaking from the breached underwater pipeline made landfall along the Louisiana coast.

The Gulf coast - which sustains one of the world's largest fisheries and is home to more than 400 species of birds, fish and wildlife - is bracing for what could be the one worst oil spills in America's history.

"We support President Obama's freeze on new coastal drilling, because it's time to reassess America's energy priorities," said Larry Schweiger, President of National Wildlife Federation. "This is not just about making oil platforms safer -- this is about moving to a new energy platform."

The latest reports put the amount of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico at more than 200,000 gallons per day. According to the National Wildlife Federation, the enormity of the disaster makes it clear that drilling is not as safe as we’ve been lead to believe.

“Oil companies have deployed 700 lobbyists in Washington and spent tens of millions of dollars on advertising to persuade us that their drilling operations were completely safe," said Schweiger. "They have successfully stalled congressional action on clean energy alternatives and persuaded politicians to put oil company profits ahead of real energy reform. Now the bill is coming due. The hidden costs of our oil dependency are no longer invisible."

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