FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kristina Johnson
Gulf Coast - As the oil disaster shuts down fisheries and tourism along the Gulf Coast and wildlife including sea birds and sea turtles begin to wash ashore covered in oil, BP has denied responsibility for the spill, but conceded to covering costs of cleanup. Sierra Club is calling on the oil giant to compensate coastal communities for the countless jobs and billions of losses in tourism and fishing profits, as well as efforts to recover marine life and wetlands, which will likely continue for decades to come.
Statement of Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune:
BP is responsible for this disaster. BP,not the American people, should pay for the disaster. BP's greed and recklessness has destroyed vital fishing and tourism industries in the Gulf Coast, just as Wall Street's greed and recklessness knocked down America's economy.
We are already watching wildlife like sea turtles and birds washing up on beaches and we can expect things to get much worse. Recovery and rescue of marine life and habitat will likely take decades. BP needs to cover the costs completely.
BP needs to compensate all of those hardworking people in the fishing and tourism industries who will now be struggling to feed their families. BP needs to pay to restore coastal wetlands and ensure the recovery of any wildlife that do survive this disaster. BP and other oil companies need to stop standing in the way of America's clean energy economy. You don't hear about disasters like this at wind farms or solar plants.
The oil industry has been using our oceans to ratchet up their profits, and now they are leaving us to clean up their mess. They leave us to comb the beaches looking for oil slicked birds and turtles. They leave us to worry about the small fisheries and coastal businesses that are now completely shut down. They leave us to worry about what their oil and toxic chemicals will do to our drinking water and health. We are tired of the oil industry polluting our air and water and standing in the way of clean energy jobs.