NRDC Releases First Book Detailing the BP Oil Disaster

NEW YORK (September 15, 2010) - The first book published on the BP oil disaster details lessons learned from the worst environmental catastrophe of our time and calls on the nation to restore the Gulf of Mexico, make the people of the region whole again and begin to move toward clean, safe and sustainable sources of power and fuel.

The book, In Deep Water: The Anatomy of a Disaster, the Fate of the Gulf, and How to End our Oil Addiction, is available directly from OR Books beginning today. It goes on sale in bookstores and through online booksellers Oct. 15.

The book is written by Natural Resources Defense Council Executive Director Peter Lehner, one of the top environmental lawyers in the nation, with veteran journalist Bob Deans, NRDC’s associate communications director. In Deep Water answers three key questions about the BP oil spill: What happened? How did we arrive at this point as a nation? And where must we go from here?

“The country has paid a high price for the mistakes that led to disaster in the Gulf,” says Peter Lehner.

“We must learn the lessons that have come at such a grievous cost, in the hope that this national calamity can lead to real action on the change we need.”

In Deep Water lays out the path to the catastrophic BP well explosion and details the harm the flow of oil did to the Gulf of Mexico, its priceless wildlife and habitat, and the 14 million Americans who live there. It gets at the root of the problem: what it takes to provide Americans with the 800 million gallons of oil we consume each day. The book deconstructs the oil industry's march into deeper and ever riskier waters at the very time when the political consensus broke down around the need for the national protections required to safeguard the public from the dangers of deepwater drilling. It explains what must be done to restore the Gulf and help its residents get back on their feet. And it sounds a compelling call to action, showing how we can reduce our reliance on oil once and for all.

“If you're looking for something that connects the dots between the BP oil disaster, the harm it's done to the Gulf of Mexico and the people paying the price, this book is it,” writes Robert Redford, actor, director and NRDC trustee. “In a clear and compelling voice, it explains the worst environmental catastrophe of our time, then shows the way forward to protect this national treasure, safeguard our future and break our destructive addiction to oil.”

In Deep Water draws on three decades of environmental advocacy for Lehner and from NRDC work that began in the opening days of the disaster. Scores of NRDC staffers have focused on this calamity during the past five months, helping regional environmental groups and communities from the NRDC Gulf Resource Center in Louisiana, monitoring the unfolding disaster and advocating at the national level for needed change.

The 174-page book is available in paperback for $16 or as an e-book for $10. All royalties go to the NRDC's Gulf Coast recovery efforts.