The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Bill Snape,, (202) 536-9351
Kierán Suckling,, (520) 275-5960

Ignoring Gulf Catastrophe, Graham Calls for More Offshore Oil Drilling

Senator's Oil Obsession Becoming Climate Poison Pill


As oil continues to spew into the Gulf of Mexico at an unprecedented rate, and attempts to stop the flow fail, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reaffirmed his support for continued - and additional - offshore oil drilling. In a press statement issued late last week, Senator Graham said, "I remain committed to safely expanding offshore drilling because I know oil will be part of our nation's energy plan for years to come."

In response, Center for Biological Diversity Executive Director Kieran Suckling issued the following statement:

"Senator Graham is correct when he says oil will be with us 'for years to come,' in that the horrific damage caused by the disaster in the Gulf will last for decades. The BP catastrophe once again demonstrates the necessity for America to move immediately away from our dangerous reliance on fossil fuels.

"Supporting increased offshore oil drilling just days after what appears to be the largest offshore oil disaster in U.S. history is equivalent to pressing your foot on the accelerator as you approach a cliff. The prognosis could be fatal. If we cannot begin to break our addiction to fossil fuels now, and specifically institute a moratorium on all offshore oil drilling, one needs to wonder if we ever can."

Senator Graham's statement comes just days before Senators John Kerry and Joseph Lieberman are reportedly set to introduce draft climate legislation that could fulfill Senator Graham's desires for more offshore oil, despite indications he has removed his name as cosponsor.

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.

(520) 623-5252