Oil Reaches Gulf State’s Shores

WASHINGTON (April 30, 2010) – In the wake of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and reports that the oil has reached land, Frances Beinecke, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council, issued the following statement:

“The administration is correct to suspend any new off-shore drilling until a full investigation is completed. But it can’t stop there – we need to do more if we are serious about avoiding disasters like this in the future. We must shift our energy policy away from oil, toward cleaner and renewable sources that can’t spill or run out.  

“Offshore drilling is dangerous work and the cost of accidents is far too high, as this tragedy reminds us. We have an oil slick the size of West Virginia harming marine life in the Gulf of Mexico. It has just reached land and has begun to poison the fertile Mississippi Delta and its ecologically rich marshes. The spill also threatens the coastlines of the other Gulf coast states.

“We have to do better.

“We need a comprehensive national clean energy policy that puts this country on the path to sustainable and renewable power and fuel while creating American jobs building the energy-efficient cars, homes and workplaces of tomorrow.

“It’s been nearly a year since the House passed legislation that will do just that. Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) have worked for six months to draft companion legislation in the Senate. And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), reaffirmed Tuesday his commitment to moving forward on this vital issue. We must find the political will to get it done.

“As we watch the horrific spectacle of yet another oil spill ravaging our waters, our wildlife, our lands, our air, our fishing and tourism industries, we must demand, once again: that our leaders lead. We must pass a clean energy bill that is designed to prevent tragedies like this in the future. The work has begun. We need to finish it this year.”

For more about the oil spill and dangers of off-shore drilling, read Sarah Chasis’ blog: “NRDC Calls for a Time-Out on New Offshore Drilling Activities.”