Disaster in the Gulf
Two years after the worst oil spill in U.S. history, a sorry legacy of enduring damage, a people wronged and a region scarred remains. The BP oil rig that exploded killed 11 workers and spewed some 170 million gallons of toxic crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Whether we look to habitat and wildlife, employment and pay, or basic health and family welfare, the BP oil blowout has devastated the region. The people of the Gulf Coast still live with the disaster every day.
Americans have the right to ask: are we any safer today? At the broadest level, the answer is no. Congress has failed to act on the lessons learned from the long chain of documented misjudgments, operational failings and oversight mistakes that led to the blowout. The oil industry, unbowed by a calamity of its own making, and its Washington allies are resisting reforms that would make drilling safer. And the administration has settled for half measures instead of the robust overhaul of safeguards it promised.
We cannot continue to place the lives of our workers, the health of our waters, the survival of coastal economies, and the wildlife of the Gulf of Mexico at greater and greater risk to sustain our costly and dangerous dependence on oil. There is a better way. Our leaders in Washington must restore the Gulf, make its people whole, and put the lessons learned to use. That means making drilling safer so a disaster like this never happens again, and moving toward clean energy sources that can’t spill or run out. There is no better way to honor the men who lost their lives and the people still struggling to keep their livelihoods afloat.
Documentary: Stories from the Gulf
Stories from the Gulf: Living with the Oil Disaster, a half-hour documentary produced by NRDC with opening narration by Robert Redford, explores the impact of America's worst oil disaster on Gulf Coast residents, using stunning original photography and audio interviews produced by NRDC and Bridge the Gulf, recorded by StoryCorps. Learn more >>
- Stories From the Gulf: NRDC has partnered with StoryCorps and Bridge the Gulf to record, share, and preserve the stories and experiences of those living through the BP oil disaster.
- Go Below the Surface of the Gulf Oil Disaster: An interactive guide to the spill's effects on the ecosystem
- NRDC's Work in the Gulf: Since 2005, NRDC has been working to support Gulf communities to protect their health and environment.
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NRDC's staff blog
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