The BP Oil Disaster at One Year: A Straightforward Assessment of What We Know, What We Don't, and What Questions Need to be Answered

Fact Sheet
April 20, 2011

It has been over a year since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded over a BP well, killing 11 workers and opening a gusher that spewed some 170 million gallons of toxic crude oil and 200,000 metric tons of methane gas into the Gulf of Mexico. The harm has been widespread—to the people, to the environment, and to the wildlife of the region. And we are only beginning to understand what the medium- and long-term effects may be. Our government and the oil and gas industry with whom we have entrusted a precious natural resource have both fallen short of delivering what our nation—and particularly the people of the Gulf—deserve. But it is within our power to change, to restore the Gulf, to make its people whole, and to make deepwater drilling safer while we work to reduce the need to put workers at risk drilling in deeper and more dangerous waters.