One year after BP’s oil disaster, drilling bill targets New England

Sean Cosgrove

One year ago the BP Deepwater Horizon oil drilling platform erupted into a tower of flame. Eleven men were killed. Hundreds of millions of gallons of oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico and created the worst environmental disaster in the US since the Great Dust Bowl. What we might have seen in this last year was a national awakening to the myriad threats of our reliance on oil. Instead we’ve seen the predictable denial of responsibility, a full scale media relations blitz and even the astonishing heartfelt apology from a leading Member of Congress to the oil industry.

It gets worse. Last week the  House Natural Resources Committee passed three bills designed to reduce oversight and speed up offshore oil drilling. One bill, HR1231, would actually require oil sale leasing in the North Atlantic and the rest of the east coast. Massachusetts’ Rep. Ed Markey pointed out the obvious and Chairman Doc Hastings said if we don’t drill more in the US then the price of gas will go up. Meanwhile, Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, agreed with the Saudi Arabian oil minister that “There is no shortage of supply in the market.” I only wish I were making this up.

About 25 years ago, after a battle of several years, CLF drove the final stake through the heart of attempts to drill for oil on Georges Bank. We have been through these battles before yet we can’t take any attacks by the oil industry and their allies in Congress lightly.

Tomorrow in Boston CLF, Oceana and Masschusetts State Rep. Frank Smizik will hold a press conference to oppose oil drilling in the Gulf of Maine. Come join us.

Wednesday, April 20th. Noon until 1:00pm. Government Center, City Hall Plaza. Find us near the flagpole outside the Government Center T stop. Rain or shine.

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