The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Jonathon Berman, (202) 495-3033,

Shell Oil Spills Over 88,000 Gallons of Crude Oil in the Gulf of Mexico

Spill Comes as Hundreds of Thousands Mobilize Against Offshore Drilling


On Thursday, subsea infrastructure connected to Shell Oil's Brutus platform spilled over 88,200 gallons (2,100 barrels) of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. According to the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), the spill created a two mile by 13 mile sheen off the Louisiana Coast.

The Brutus platform began operation in 2001, but by the following year, Shell had to reduce its production due to valve failures.

A year ago next week, activists and "kayaktivists" gathered in Seattle demanding that Shell be blocked from drilling in the Arctic Ocean. This protest led to a summer of activism and "kayaktivisim" calling on the Obama Administration to protect our waters from offshore drilling.

Now, hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country are mobilizing, thanking the Obama Administration for protecting the Atlantic Ocean from offshore drilling and calling on it to safeguard the Arctic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico as well.

In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement:

"It's unacceptable that oil spills have been permitted to become the status quo in the Gulf. From Deepwater Horizon to the Taylor Well to Shell's latest disaster, we have allowed the region to be perpetually treated as a sacrifice zone--a place where we tolerate pollution and disasters to continue our dependence on fossil fuels.

"This practice must end now. Hundreds of thousands of people have mobilized across the country, and thousands more will march in Washington, DC this Sunday calling for President Obama to protect our waters and coastal communities from offshore drilling.

"President Obama was right when he protected the Atlantic Ocean from offshore drilling--now it's time he does the same with the Arctic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico and safeguard all our waters."

The Sierra Club is the most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. We amplify the power of our 3.8 million members and supporters to defend everyone's right to a healthy world.

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