The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Kelsey Lamp, Environment America Protect Our Cceans Campaign Director, 775-397-5057, 
Luke Metzger, Environment Texas State Director, 512-743-8257,

Ida Suspected of Causing Oil Spill in the Gulf

Oil slicks are reminders that when we drill, we spill.


As post-tropical cyclone Ida barrels through New England and heads out into the Atlantic Ocean Thursday, we're just uncovering the breadth of its destruction. While people throughout the eastern United States begin the long process of recovering from Ida's wrath, off the Gulf shore, one of the worst possible outcomes looms. Aerial photos of a large rig in the Gulf of Mexico show what appears to be a miles-long oil slick.

Environment America is calling on the owners of the nearest rigs and government agencies to inspect and address this potential spill the second it's safe enough.

Oil spills over the past couple of decades have been unfortunate byproducts of building large oil rigs in hurricane-prone areas -- especially as climate change increasingly fuels more powerful hurricanes. As the Biden administration mulls the future of federal leasing for oil and gas in the Gulf, decision-makers need to consider the ongoing risk of spills, which damage marine ecosystems and pollute coastal communities.

Kelsey Lamp, Protect our Oceans campaign director with Environment America issued the following statement:

"On top of the devastation that people are still experiencing onshore, we are now learning about an oil slick in the Gulf, not far from the Louisiana coast. The Americans whose lives Ida has upended have enough to deal with already -- they shouldn't have to worry about poisoned ocean life and polluted shorelines.

"This is yet another reminder of the major risks posed by offshore drilling for dirty, dangerous fossil fuels we increasingly don't need because of our increased capacity for solar and other renewable energy. Simply put, when oil companies drill, they spill. That's why we are continuing to urge the Biden administration to consider the true cost of offshore drilling, and end the practice for good.

"We urge the owners of nearby rigs to act quickly to assess and resolve the situation. And we urge the government to act with great speed to determine the source of the slick and address the risk it poses to marine and shoreline wildlife in the Gulf."

With Environment America, you protect the places that all of us love and promote core environmental values, such as clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and clean energy to power our lives. We're a national network of 29 state environmental groups with members and supporters in every state. Together, we focus on timely, targeted action that wins tangible improvements in the quality of our environment and our lives.

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