On April 20, 2010, eleven people were killed in the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the coast of Louisiana. The explosion of this vessel caused it to sink and leak oil. Government estimates indicate this oil well is currently leaking an estimated 2.5 million gallons of oil a day. The vessel was owned by British Petroleum (BP).
This is an environmental disaster. According to the www.dailydeadbird.com 957 birds, 387 sea turtles, and 47 mammals have died. This does not include the 800 others that have been recovered drenched in oil. Furthermore, our food chain is in the process of a slow demise. Plankton is the primary producer that initiates the aquatic food chain. If the phytoplankton and zooplankton are killed, larger organisms will begin to die off as well. These organisms are vital to the ecosystem’s survival!
The gulf region is also suffering a damaging blow to it’s economy. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has closed 86,985 square miles -- about 36 percent of the Gulf's federal waters -- to fishing. Fishermen are out of work; trying to obtain positions with BP. Our local seafood plants are shutting down daily. This is a huge devastating blow to the gulf seafood industry! Patrons have stopped coming to the beach in fear that their trips will be invaded by gooey tar balls or chocolate mousse textured oil washing upon the shore.
With all this occurring President Obama placed a six month ban on all offshore drilling. However, on June 22, 2010, a federal judge blocked the six-month federal moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Several dozen plaintiffs had sued the Obama administration, arguing the ban would create long-term economic harm to their businesses (via cnn.com). This disturbs me very deeply. ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and the American arms of BP and Royal Dutch Shell — testified before a subpanel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. They all presented carbon copied oil-spill response plans filled with incorrect information regarding the Gulf of Mexico’s plants and animals. They are not prepared to handle another disaster and are no better prepared to deal with a major oil spill than BP! Offshore drilling does not need to continue until this crisis is solved!
'The president strongly believes, as the Department of Interior and Department of Justice argued yesterday, that continuing to drill at these depths without knowing what happened is - does not make any sense and puts the safety of those involved, potentially puts safety of those on the rigs, and the safety of the environment and the Gulf at a danger that the president does not believe we can afford right now," - Robert Gibbs, White House spokesman.
Please support President Obama’s attempt to protect our environment, families and way of life!