Latest Gulf of Mexico Explosion Again Illustrates Danger of Offshore Drilling, Urgent Need for Moratorium on All Operations

For Immediate Release

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Kierán Suckling, (520) 275-5960

Latest Gulf of Mexico Explosion Again Illustrates Danger of Offshore Drilling, Urgent Need for Moratorium on All Operations

TUSCON, AZ - Today's explosion
in the Gulf of Mexico serves as another tragic reminder of the
inherent danger of offshore drilling and the urgent need for a
large-scale moratorium on all offshore oil and gas drilling
operations until human safety and protection of the environment can
be assured. The explosion - which injured at least one of the
thirteen people who were forced to escape into the ocean - comes
less than five months after BP's Deepwater Horizon disaster
and as the Obama administration considers lifting a moratorium on
deepwater drilling. That moratorium covered only a small fraction of
the more than 3,600 oil and gas production operations in the
Gulf.

"Sadly, today's news comes as no
surprise. Offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is like playing
Russian roulette. It's not a matter of if something will go
wrong, it's a matter of when," said Kierán Suckling, executive
director of the Center for Biological Diversity.

"It's time the government put all
offshore oil and gas operations - whether they're exploratory wells
or production operations - on hold until we know they're safe. The
price we've already paid for BP's Deepwater Horizon is too
high. We cannot risk any more disasters."

Today's explosion was at a platform owned
by Mariner Energy in about 340 feet of water. It's about 100 miles
off Louisiana's coast and 200 miles west of where the Deepwater
Horizon
rig exploded April 20, leading to the spill of some 200
million gallons of oil in the Gulf. The Obama administration has
been under intense political pressure to lift the moratorium put in
place after the spill began.

"Clearly, this is not the time to let
this industry return to business as usual. BP's catastrophe
certainly made the case for that, and this morning's explosion only
drives the point home," said Suckling.

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At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature - to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law, and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters, and climate that species need to survive.

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