Saturday, 20 April 2013

NWF says BP still needs to be held accountable three years after Gulf disaster

NWF says BP still needs to be held accountable three years after Gulf disaster, The National Wildlife Federation issued a press release from Washington, DC Thurs., stating that in no uncertain terms, BP still must be held accountable for its actions in the Gulf of Mexico three years ago today.

At that time, the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and killed 11 workers, and then two days later, the rig sank. Before BP finally capped the well July 14, 2010, at least 4.9 million barrels of oil (over 200 gallons) had been released along with huge quantities of hydrocarbon gases.

During the recent phase of the civil trial, David Uhlmann, formerly of the Justice Department's Environmental Crimes Section, said it would be difficult to "pin down an exact amount of oil spilled, because it was all based on computer models and simulations. There was no meter measuring the amount of oil coming out of the well every day."

Larry Schweiger, NWF president and CEO, said Thurs.:

“Nearly three years later, the impacts of the Gulf oil disaster continue to unfold. Dolphins and sea turtles are still dying in high numbers. Just this month scientists [from Univ. or S. Fla.] announced the spill’s underwater oil plume caused a massive die-off of creatures at the base of the Gulf’s food web. It’s clear that we will not know the full fallout from the disaster for years.

“BP needs to be held fully accountable. The outcome of the ongoing trial must send an unmistakable signal to every oil company that cutting corners on safety is simply not a smart thing to do.

“The Gulf of Mexico is an economic and ecological powerhouse that generates more than $50 billion annually from fishing and tourism alone. The federal penalties resulting from the disaster need to be spent exclusively on smart investments in the health of this shared national resource. Restoring the Gulf will have a positive impact on our nation’s economy, now and for generations to come.”

NWF recently published an update on the Gulf in its report, Restoring a Degraded Gulf of Mexico: Wildlife and Wetlands Three Years into the Gulf Oil Disaster.

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