"We simply cannot accept oiled coastlines and wetlands, dead dolphins and declining numbers of sea turtles as part of the cost of doing business—America’s wildlife deserves better."
Five years ago this Monday, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11 men and sending as much as 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Even as a new National Wildlife Federation report describes the disaster’s impacts on 20 types of wildlife, BP has been escalating its attacks on important research and downplaying the effects of the oil on wildlife and local ecosystems.
Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, said the following on the five-year mark of the disaster:
“Five years later, dolphins in Louisiana are still sick with symptoms of oil exposure and are dying at four times normal rates. Endangered sea turtle nests are on the decline. Oil remains on the floor of the Gulf and on some beaches and wetlands.
“Slick television ads cannot change the scientific facts—wildlife continue to suffer because of BP’s ‘gross negligence.’ Last month, the company released a widely-derided report claiming that all was well in the Gulf, at the exact same time that their crews were quietly cleaning up a 25,000-pound tar mat on a Louisiana barrier island. Rather than spending money on expensive public relations campaigns, the company should accept full responsibility for its recklessness and put things right in the Gulf. Five years is long enough for the Gulf to wait.
“We must take all necessary steps to truly restore the Gulf and ensure that a disaster of this magnitude is never allowed to happen again.
“The Administration’s recent proposal to strengthen the minimum requirements for blowout preventers is welcome news. However, Congressional action is still needed to increase oil spill liability caps, and to enhance our nation’s capacity to respond in the event of another spill. Further, we must ensure that all fines leveed under the Clean Water Act go towards comprehensive restoration of the Gulf.
“We simply cannot accept oiled coastlines and wetlands, dead dolphins and declining numbers of sea turtles as part of the cost of doing business—America’s wildlife deserves better.”
Five Years and Counting: Gulf Wildlife in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster
BP Vs. Science
Five Years After the Oil Spill, Dead Dolphins and 25,000-Pound Tar Mat Found
10 Things BP's New Report Doesn't Tell You
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