New Blowout Rule Exposes Coasts, Wildlife to New Oil, Gas Disasters

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Weakening safety standards for offshore oil and gas wells would risk the health and safety of coastal communities and wildlife, the National Wildlife Federation said today following the Interior Department’s release of its new Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control Rule. 

“Governors from Atlantic and Pacific coastal states oppose unfettered offshore oil and gas development because of the risks it poses to their communities, wildlife and economies. There is simply no reason to water down safety measures that help protect us all from man-made disasters like the Deepwater Horizon spill,” said Laura Daniel Davis, vice president of conservation strategy for the National Wildlife Federation. “The Department of the Interior rightly shelved its new five-year drilling plan and it should do the same to this attempt to weaken well safety standards.”

The National Wildlife Federation and its coastal affiliates have worked to highlight the risks of unfettered offshore oil and gas drilling along the coasts. National Wildlife Federation President and CEO Collin O'Mara recently urged the Department of the Interior to "permanently scrap" its new five-year offshore drilling plan.

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