For Immediate Release

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One Year after the BP Disaster: Gulf Communities are Still in Crisis

Stunning Inaction by Congress after the Largest Environmental Disaster in American History

WASHINGTON - One year after the largest oil spill in American history, Big Oil continues to rake in record profits, Congress has still not acted to hold BP accountable and thousands of working families and small business owners in the Gulf are still struggling to recover.

Statement from Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune:

“One year after the catastrophic BP Disaster killed eleven men, spewed hundreds of millions of gallons of toxic oil into the Gulf of Mexico and ruined the livelihoods and health of thousands of working families in the Gulf, not much has changed for Big Oil.  


“Oil executives and their lobbyists are raking in millions in bonuses for their ‘best year ever’ and lobbying Congress to open more of our land and water – even the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – for risky and dangerous drilling.


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“The oil industry continues to brush off the dangers and high costs of offshore drilling – costs that the people of the Gulf are all too familiar with.  

“The current inaction on Capitol Hill is unacceptable.  Congress needs to finally hold BP and Big Oil fully accountable for their disaster in the Gulf by ending tax breaks for wealthy oil companies and adopting the recommendations of the bipartisan Oil Spill Commission. These first steps are critical to helping make Gulf communities whole again and ensuring that we never again experience another BP Oil Disaster.

“The only way to truly protect our communities and our oceans is to end Big Oil’s stranglehold on our economy and break our addiction to oil. Instead of chasing dirty, dead-end fossil fuels, we should be investing in 21st Century transportation solutions like smarter, more fuel-efficient cars and trucks, electric vehicles and mass transit.

“The time is now for leadership from Congress – the restoration of the Gulf, the health of our economy and the safety of all Americans depends on it.”


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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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