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Obama Administration Enacts New Moratorium on Deepwater Drilling
Oil Industry Pushes for More Risky Drilling As BP Rig Continues to Gush
Washington, D.C. – Today, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced a renewed ban on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, where a BP oil rig has been pouring out millions of gallons of oil for the past two months.
Shortly after the disaster began, the Obama administration issued a temporary ban on more deepwater drilling in the area. However, the oil industry challenged that ban in court. The Sierra Club and other groups have since intervened to support the federal government in its decision to temporarily halt drilling in the disaster area.
In an effort to protect the Gulf Coast communities, water and wildlife that have already been devastated by the BP disaster, the administration today issued a new moratorium.
Statement of Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune
“We’re encouraged to see the Obama administration protect Gulf Coast communities and wildlife from more of the deepwater drilling that created this disaster. At a time when oil is still gushing into the ocean and destroying more wildlife, communities and jobs each day, it doesn’t make sense to open up more drilling.
The oil industry is using this tragedy as an excuse to push for even more dangerous drilling. Companies like BP would like to see the Gulf declared a dead zone in which the only jobs to be had are from oil drilling.
The Gulf Coast deserves better. Fishing, shrimping and tourism have been a way of life in this region for years. Those industries and jobs need to be restored. More drilling now would only put this area at risk for a second spill, or a third. Proposing new drilling while oil is still gushing is a slap in the face to Gulf Coast communities.
We need to make sure this never happens again. A moratorium on new deepwater drilling addresses the immediate risk to the Gulf Coast but we also need a long term plan to prevent further oil disasters. We need President Obama to chart a course that will end America’s oil dependence in the next twenty years.”
Sierra Club has launched an effort to urge the President to Move America Beyond Oil at www.beyondoil.org.