For Immediate Release
President Obama Misses Opportunity to Shut Door on More Drilling Disasters
WASHINGTON - Friends of the Earth's president, Erich Pica, had the following response to President Obama's remarks at this afternoon's press conference:
"President Obama missed an opportunity to lead the nation toward an oil-free future today. His decision to delay and cancel some offshore drilling plans tinkers around the edges of the problem. Nothing less than a permanent ban on offshore drilling will protect U.S. waters and the people who depend on them.
"The president's talk of industry accountability and bolstered oversight is ringing hollow. His administration has issued several dozen new permits and environmental waivers for offshore drilling - including two for BP - since the April 20 rig explosion. This continued kowtowing to Big Oil is unacceptable following such catastrophic regulatory and industry failures.
"The oil industry has been selling our country on the lie that we need its dirty and dangerous offshore oil, and apparently President Obama has bought into it. Cleaner, safer alternatives that can meet our energy needs without imperiling ecosystems and coastal economies already exist. Stronger fuel economy standards, smart growth planning, rail and public transit are all solutions than can propel us toward an oil-free future."
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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.