Greenpeace Response to National Oil Spill Commission Final Report

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Joe Smyth, Greenpeace Media, 831-566-5647 joe.smyth@greenpeace.org

Greenpeace Response to National Oil Spill Commission Final Report

WASHINGTON - In response to the final report released today
by the National Oil Spill Commission, Greenpeace USA Research Director
Kert Davies released the following statement:

"The Commission has leveled a crucial warning with this report,
detailing for the history books that which is broken in the oil drilling
industry and the bureaucracy which regulates it.  The oil industry has
not fixed fundamental "systemic" flaws identified by the report and
remains unprepared to prevent such accidents and deal with the
consequences.  The government apparatus that should protect us from oil
disasters remains underfunded and understaffed and not up to the task of
protecting the nation's environmental security.

“When, not if, a
disaster like the BP blowout happens again, we will all be able to
point to the Commission report for that which we failed to avert such a
catastrophe.  The American public should not be satisfied with ‘we told
you so’ when that happens.

“The oil industry will resist the
recommendations of the Commission at its own peril.  The Administration
will do right by taking swift action under existing authority to stop
risky offshore oil drilling in the Alaskan Arctic and work with Congress
to add to the slim government resources available to redouble
regulation of existing drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and spill
response apparatus nationwide.

“Beyond US borders, the
Commission warns that multinational oil companies like BP and Shell and
drilling contractors like Halliburton and Transocean operate in oceans
worldwide, making this a global threat.  Governments around the world
should heed the recommendations made by the Commission and examine their
own regulatory apparatus around offshore drilling, including any
financial liability caps that are in place as is the case in the US.
Eliminating the cap on financial liability will more accurately price
risky deepwater drilling activity in the marketplace.

“The
Commission recommendation for an industry-run safety organization like
the nuclear industry set up after Three Mile Island fails to meet the
scale of the problem with a commensurate response.  The public deserves
better.  The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations has no public
transparency and failed to avert the most significant 'near miss'
partial meltdown of the Davis Besse reactor in Ohio in 2002.

“The
Commission recommends participation of NOAA and the USGS in drilling
lease review with the Interior Department. We hope this will bolster the
consideration of environmental risk by bringing more natural scientists
into the room.

“We back the recommendation to spend the majority
of money from the BP disaster fines and penalties on environmental
restoration in the Gulf of Mexico.  That's the least we can do for the
Gulf, its creatures and people, and serves as a warning for those at
fault the next time this happens of the true cost of drilling for oil.”

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