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Bookmark and Share Audubon President Comments on Report by the National Commission on Gulf Oil Disaster & Recommendations

We must heed the clear warning laid out by the courageous members of this commission, and call for a ‘timeout’ for drilling in America’s Arctic Ocean.


Statement by David Yarnold, Audubon President, issued upon release of the final report:

"The report uses two words the drillers didn't want to hear:
"systemic failure." Make no mistake: the report says drillers are
unprepared for disasters like this. Even after killing 11 and triggering
the worst environmental disaster in a generation, industry spokespeople
want to distract us from the truth. They claim this was an isolated
instance caused by rogue companies. That's an insult to the families who
suffered and to anyone who wants to see reasonable safeguards.

"The report is clear; the Interior Department is outgunned by the
drillers and needs the people and the dollars to police the industry.

"This is a rare instance where something good can arise from tragedy.
We can use BP's fines to restore a way of life to the region that has
suffered the most. That would be a solid first step toward environmental
restoration along the Gulf Coast region. We know that the natural
buffers, the wetlands and the forests can regrow. It's just a question
of political will and money and the Commission says we should bring both
to bear.

"We strongly agree that a large majority of Clean Water Act penalties
should be directed, as soon as possible, to environmental restoration
in the Gulf Coast region. This summer, Gulf communities suffered grim
economic and environmental consequences as oil washed onto their
beaches, contaminated their fisheries, and seeped into their wetlands.
The report's recommendation to fund coastal restoration in the Gulf is a
critical first step toward rebuilding an ecosystem that has been
shattered by an unfettered energy industry. Audubon also joins the
commission in calling for scientific studies and long-term monitoring
efforts so desperately needed to understand and mitigate the spill's

"Audubon urges the White House, Congress, and the oil and gas
industry to fund and enact swift and comprehensive reforms. A system so
riddled with complacency and incompetence must not be permitted to
endanger more human lives and precious natural resources, in the Gulf
and elsewhere.

"Even now, the federal Bureau of Energy Management, Regulation and
Enforcement are considering Shell Oil's proposal to drill in the
Beaufort Sea next summer, despite the lack of a credible oil spill
response plan - risking a disaster that could eclipse what was seen in
the Gulf of Mexico. We must heed the clear warning laid out by the
courageous members of this commission, and call for a 'timeout' for
drilling in America's Arctic Ocean.

"Audubon thanks Co-Chairs of the Commission on the BP Deepwater
Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, Senator Bob Graham and William
Reilly, as well as the other distinguished Commissioners for their
dedication in identifying the causes of this disaster as well as
charting a course for improved rules and regulations regarding off shore
drilling. They have provided a clear blueprint for the reforms and
restoration support essential to ensure the future health and
productivity of the Gulf coast's communities, wildlife and ecosystem.
Now it is up to Congress and the Administration to act."

Oil Spill Commission's final report

Now in its second century, Audubon connects people with birds, nature and the environment that supports us all. Our national network of community-based nature centers, chapters, scientific, education, and advocacy programs engages millions of people from all walks of life in conservation action to protect and restore the natural world.