Oil Commission Lays Out Needed Protections for Workers, Waters and Wildlife

WASHINGTON (January 11, 2011) -- The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling released its final report today. Peter Lehner, executive director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, made the following statement:

“The BP blowout killed 11 workers, poisoned the Gulf of Mexico with millions of barrels of toxic crude and threw thousands of fishermen, shrimpers and others out of work. Now we know why.

“The industry sacrificed safety to try to save money and time. The watchdogs we counted on to keep us safe didn’t have the tools to do the job. And neither had any idea how to stop the gusher once it blew.

“We can’t undo the damage or bring back the lives we've lost, but we can learn from our mistakes. This report is the right place to start.

“The industry must end its culture of complacency and start putting safety first. Congress must strengthen the protections we need to keep our workers, waters and wildlife safe. And the administration must make sure those who enforce vital safeguards have what they need to do the job.”

Peter Lehner is co-author of “In Deep Water: The Anatomy of a Disaster, the Fate of the Gulf, and Ending Our Oil Addiction,” and executive director of the Natural Resources Defense Council.