Press Release | October 12, 2010

Government leaves Gulf of Mexico at risk

Statement by Catherine Wannamaker, senior attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center, on the lifting of the temporary moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico

“The three month long Gulf oil spill and its long-term effects are the fruit of the oil industry dodging oversight and subverting safeguards to push drilling technology past its ability to prevent or stop oil spills with too little regard for the environmental risks to life in and around our coastal areas.

“The Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill showed that the government and oil industry were not prepared or equipped for an oil spill. And even now, the Government has not assessed the environmental risks posed by deepwater drilling and the potential harm to life and health that we know can occur. Without these assessments being complete as required by law, the Government cannot legally authorize a resumption of deepwater drilling in the Gulf.

“The long-term effects of the oil spill on life in and around the Gulf remain to be seen, from tiny phytoplankton at the base of the food chain to blue crab, oysters, and fish caught and consumed by our families and communities. Until we know what these impacts are and how we prevent them from happening in the future, we shouldn’t be drilling in deepwater. The government has the legal responsibility to protect our natural resources and it must vigorously exercise that responsibility.”

Press Contacts

Catherine Wannamaker

Senior Attorney with a focus on litigation

Phone: 404-521-9900

Kathleen Sullivan

Senior Communications Manager (NC)

Phone: 919-967-1450
Email: ksullivan@selcnc.org