The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Cat Lazaroff, (202) 772- 3270

Caitlin Leutwiler, (202) 772-3226

Drilling Must Be Put on Hold, Defenders of Wildlife Says

Presidential moratorium must be restored



* At today's House Natural Resources Committee hearing, Secretary
Salazar discussed the Obama administration's review of the Gulf oil
* Oil continues to gush unabated into the Gulf of Mexico, harming
wildlife and coastal habitat, despite several unsuccessful attempts to
cap the flow and mitigate the spread of the slick.
* In the time since the administration originally called for a
temporary halt to new offshore drilling, the Minerals Management
Service (MMS) has granted at least seven new drilling permits and five
waivers, according to the New York Times (5/24).

WASHINGTON (May 26, 2010) - The following is a statement by Jamie
Rappaport Clark, executive vice president for Defenders of Wildlife:

"To ensure the scientific integrity and transparency of MMS'
environmental review process, the administration must halt the issuance
of new drilling permits, particularly in Alaska, as well as halt action
on any permits clouded by the perverse incentive system and the
historic culture of corruption surrounding MMS.

"It is unacceptable to move forward with exploratory drilling plans
as our nation continues to pour all available resources into attempts
to stop the hemorrhaging of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. At a bare
minimum, a real timeout should be put in place until the Presidential
Commission has finished its essential investigation into the safety of
offshore drilling and the ability to prevent any spills in the future.
But ultimately, the only way to truly safeguard our coasts is to
reinstate the presidential moratorium against new offshore drilling,
and extend it to cover all our nation's waters."

Learn more about how Defenders is working to halt offshore drilling in the U.S.

See how Defenders is responding to the Gulf oil disaster.

Defenders of Wildlife is the premier U.S.-based national conservation organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of imperiled species and their habitats in North America.

(202) 682-9400