Stop Oil Spills Before They Start
Offshore oil drilling is a risky business. On April 20, 2010, the BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded, taking the lives of 11 oil rig workers and spilling an estimated 210 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Twenty years earlier, on March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez ran aground, spilling roughly 11 million gallons of oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound.
These and other accidents have caused severe impacts to the economies of coastal communities, resulting in closed commercial and recreational fisheries; marred beaches and shorelines; and hundreds of thousands of injured or dead birds, fish and marine mammals. Impacts from oil spills can last for decades.
The Department of the Interior has announced it will take a hard look at the federal oil and gas program, including offshore oil and gas activities. This gives members of the public — like you — an important opportunity to urge the Department of the Interior to be a better steward of our ocean.
Join us in telling the Department of Interior to transition away from fossil fuels and enforce strict safety standards to prevent oil spills.
We can't risk another devastating spill.
Sign PetitionSign Petition
Dear Secretary of the Interior,
Our ocean is vitally important to Americans for the economic, cultural, recreational and other benefits it provides. The economies in coastal communities depend on a healthy ocean to support fishing, tourism, recreation and subsistence uses.
I urge you to protect these values and benefits by:
- Recognizing that offshore oil and gas operations create overlapping and synergistic threats to the ocean. Spills and other pollution directly threaten important ecosystems and resources, and the deepening plastics crisis is directly linked to the development of oil and gas resources. Emissions from the production and combustion of oil and gas are driving the climate crisis and ocean acidification.
- Promoting a rapid, just and equitable transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy. Among other things, such a transition would provide financial resources and job training to displaced fossil fuel workers, address the impacts and inequities to frontline communities caused or exacerbated by coastal refineries and other oil and gas facilities, ensure affordable energy rates for low-income communities and ensure sustainable economic opportunities for communities that are currently dependent on extraction.
- Ensuring stringent safety and environmental standards, including protection of important marine areas and proven spill response capacity. The Interior Department must fundamentally change regulations governing offshore oil and gas activities to better account for the environmental and social costs of offshore drilling, remove perverse economic incentives that often favor extraction, and ensure rigorous monitoring and enforcement, particularly in frontline communities.
The climate crisis poses an existential threat to our planet. Business-as-usual is no longer an option, and we must transition — rapidly and responsibly — from fossil fuel production to renewable energy sources. I hope the Department of the Interior will lead the way toward a new energy future for our ocean and our planet.
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