Obama Administration Expands Offshore Oil Drilling Without Adequate Safeguards

NRDC: Latest Plan to Expedite Drilling is “A Reckless Gamble We Cannot Afford”

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 8, 2011) – The Obama administration today unveiled its new five-year leasing plan for offshore drilling, which includes a heavy focus on production in the Gulf of Mexico and opens up new lease sales in the Arctic. This comes less than two years after the BP oil disaster and without sufficient improvements to safety or clean-up technology, according to NRDC.

The following is a statement from Frances Beinecke, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council and served on the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling:

“Green-lighting more oil drilling under inadequate safety measures is a reckless gamble we cannot afford.

“The President’s Oil Spill Commission put forth a gameplan to improve the industry’s safety, but it has yet to be realized. Congress has failed to pass a single law to better protect workers or the environment. Industry has not invested sufficiently in developing the technologies needed to prevent future disasters. And the government still needs additional resources and science in order to effectively police an industry that so desperately needs it.

“Today, the Gulf region is still struggling to rebuild. This is not the time to put the region at greater risk. Nor is it the time to open the doors to drilling in the treacherous and remote Arctic, which is more than a thousand miles from the closest clean-up crew and home to pristine habitat for a range of endangered species.

“This is just another distraction from our clean energy future. And it will only serve to line the pocketbooks of Big Oil, which is still receiving billions in taxpayer subsidies.  We should be moving toward renewable energy sources that can’t spill, run out or destroy entire economies and livelihoods.  We need to get the road to a clean energy future and stay there.”