Tragic Gulf Oil Spill ‘No Reason To Give Up Offshore Drilling’ White House Says

Just days ago, millions of people across the world celebrated the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, patting themselves on the back for environmental achievements and pledging to ‘go green’ with even more ferver than the year before.

While the rallies and festivals celebrated Mother Earth, others watched in horror as an oil drilling rig that had exploded days earlier, burned and sank off the coast of Louisiana.

The sinking of the drilling platform caused the pipeline that had connected it to the the sea floor to rupture, opening up an oil leak that is currently estimated to be gushing 42,000 gallons (1,000 barrels) of crude per day into the waters of the Gulf.

Eleven of the rig’s workers are still missing, and today, four days after the rig sank, oil continues to spill into the Gulf of Mexico.

The now 600-square mile oil slick is spreading rapidly across the water and could envelope delicate marine ecosystems in just 36 hours, although British Petroleum, the company that commissioned the platform, could take months to clean up the spill.

All this is the result of dangerous and uneccessary offshore drilling, yet in a statement Friday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the explosion was no reason to give up plans to expand offshore drilling.

“In all honesty I doubt this is the first accident that has happened and I doubt it will be the last,” Gibbs told reporters.

This statement is astonishing in two different ways:

1. Gibbs admits that he’s not even sure whether there have been previous oil spills. This shows how important he thought it was to be prepared for this particular press conference. (Here are 10 to get you started).

2. This pathetic excuse-for-an-excuse sends the flippant message that dozens of human lives, thousands of marine species, and unknown years of environmental damage (and the reality that this can and will most likely happen again!) are not a sufficient reason to stop offshore drilling.

This statement and the attiudes that perpetuated it are unacceptable, and New Jersey Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg weren’t afraid to say so.

“Big Oil has perpetuated a dangerous myth that coastline oil drilling is a completely safe endeavor, but accidents like this are a sober reminder just how far that is from the truth,” the two Democrats said in a joint statement.

There’s still time to prevent future spills. The oil rig that sank Thursday was designed to drill deeper than earlier generations of rigs and was one of the largest ever built. Neither of those attributes are what we need.

What is needed are millions of determined American voices to tell President Obama “no” to offshore drilling and “yes” to stronger fuel efficiency standards, smart growth, solar recharging stations for electric cars, and investment into public transportation — all of which reduce our need for oil in the first place.

Find full Care2 Coverage of the Spill here.


Please stay tuned to Care2 Causes for more information about the Gulf Spill as it develops.

Deepwater Horizon on fire
Image Credit: United States Coast Guard


Marie Russell-Barker

It is unbelievable, that the Government would have allowed BP to drill further than it should have in our waters, with out a sure safe way of themselves checking it out to see if it was safe to do so. The rule of allowing Oil Companies to rule themselves is unacceptable Oil and Coal have become more careless, and greedy as time goes on did any of our supposedly protectors ever thing that these Companies care about human or wild life, that they were given full range of themselves. Now for our President after what have happened to suggest that we continue drilling, we don't know anything more now than we did then about drilling in Deep Waters, or shallow waters, lets put it this way the president is wrong to continue any kind of drilling here in America, if we don't start now looking for other resources of clean energy then when is the right time. It is now not tomorrow but today.

Claudia M.
Claudia Montoya8 years ago

Clean Water Act, time to put REA pressure on Mr. Obama:

(A) If a discharge, or a substantial threat of a discharge, of oil or a hazardous substance from a vessel, offshore facility, or onshore facility is of such a ... See Moresize or character as to be a substantial threat to the public health or welfare of the United States (including but not limited to fish, shellfish, wildlife, other natural resources, and the public and private beaches and shorelines of the United States), the President shall direct all Federal, State, and private actions to remove the discharge or to mitigate or prevent the threat of the discharge.
(B) In carrying out this paragraph, the President may, without regard to any other provision of law governing contracting procedures or employment of personnel by the Federal Government--
(i) remove or arrange for the removal of the discharge, or mitigate or prevent the substantial threat of the discharge; and
(ii) remove and, if necessary, destroy a vessel discharging, or threatening to discharge, by whatever means are available.
(3) Actions in accordance with National Contingency Plan.
(A) Each Federal agency, State, owner or operator, or other person participating in efforts under this subsection shall act in accordance with the National Contingency Plan or as directed by the President.

Ji R.
Ji R.8 years ago

The government is always the spokesman of the big oil companies which can bring it abundant profits.If any disaster happens,only the lower class,the common people,the innocent animals will suffer.How pathetic!

Claudia M.
Claudia Montoya8 years ago

Boycott BP!!!

Please sign, it's easy:

Peter Billington
Peter B8 years ago

noted thanks.

Lisa Bxx
L X8 years ago


APNewsBreak: Series of failures led to rig blast
By NOAKI SCHWARTZ and HARRY R. WEBER, Associated Press Writers – 1 hr 21 mins ago
...There, at the wellhead of exploratory wells, sits the massive steel contraption known as a blowout preventer. It can snuff a blowout by squeezing rubber seals tightly around the pipes with up to 1 million pounds of force. If the seals fail, the blowout preventer deploys a last line of defense: a set of rams that can slice right through the pipes and cap the blowout.
Deepwater Horizon was also equipped with an automated backup system called a Deadman. It should have activated the blowout preventer even if workers could not.
Based on the interviews with rig workers, none of those safeguards worked.
Associated Press writers Cain Burdeau, Vicki Smith and Ray Henry in Louisiana, Jeff Donn in Boston and Michael Graczyk in Houston contributed to this report.

Lisa Bxx
L X8 years ago
APNewsBreak: Series of failures led to rig blast
By NOAKI SCHWARTZ and HARRY R. WEBER, Associated Press Writers – 1 hr 21 mins ago
Seven BP executives were on board the Deepwater Horizon rig celebrating the project's safety record, according to the transcripts. Meanwhile, far below, the rig was being converted from an exploration well to a production well.
As the workers removed pressure from the drilling column and introduced heat to set the cement seal around the wellhead, the chemical reaction created heat, destabilizing the seal and allowing a gas bubble to form inside the pipe.
Deep beneath the seafloor, methane gas is in a slushy, crystalline form. But as the bubble rose up the drill column from the high-pressure environs of the deep to the less pressurized shallows, it intensified and grew, breaking through various safety barriers, the interviews said.
"A small bubble becomes a really big bubble," Bea said. "So the expanding bubble becomes like a cannon shooting the gas into your face." ...

Janelle O.
JANELLE O8 years ago

This poll proves there are still some real bright souls out there who still think off-shore drilling is the way. I think they should be forced to live in waters contaminated with the oil spill and see how they like the idea, then.

Jacqueline L.
Jackie Lykins8 years ago

Things are going so crazy and out of control I think soon will be our demise.Why is our government trying to put us at the bottom of the barrel???? Can't trust them as if I ever did in the past.We are going down faster and faster. Where will it end. Only God knows.It's coming and very soon.Feel bad for the ones who died for this stupid oil rig.Obama should be impeached. I think he is 666.

Pam Burton
Pam Burton8 years ago

I think I must be a cynic.....I listen to the "Save The" info...And I vote for all the right stuff....BUT-I don't think WE-Humans-homo sapiens-have A SNOBALLS CHANCE IN HELL OF TURNING THIS AROUND...especially if people such as "drill baby drill Palin" have their way......