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Black Elk Energy Explosion Shows Careless Culture of the Oil Industry

November 16th, 2012

November 16, 2012 For Immediate Release

Contact: Anne Rolfes, Founding Director, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, (504) 452-4909

Black Elk Energy Explosion Shows Careless Culture of the Oil Industry

Statement from Anne Rolfes and the Louisiana Bucket Brigade

The ink was barely dry on the BP settlement when another accident claimed the lives of two oil workers in the Gulf of Mexico. This accident is sad evidence of the obvious: the oil industry is a rogue industry with an accident problem that it refuses to address. To date in 2012:

· Oil refineries have reported 81 accidents. ExxonMobil Baton Rouge, as usual, leads the pack with 21 accidents. Also notable are ongoing problems with flaring at the Motiva Refinery in Norco.

· There have been hundreds of reports of oil spills reported to the National Response Center (out of over 2,000 reports filed). Some of these accidents are for small amounts – sheens or a couple of barrels, but the cumulative effect is significant, as are the serious accident like today’s.

Please visit SkyTruth for excellent updates about the situation: http://blog.skytruth.org/2012/11/fatal-explosion-and-fire-on-platform-in.html

There is an unacceptable level of disorder, mayhem and danger in the oil industry. It is long past time for accountability, enforcement, fines and jail time for those responsible. Such action would make the oil industry safer and create jobs. Yes, it may reduce the bonuses of the CEOs of Exxon, Shell and Black Elk Energy. But it would save lives.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the dead and the missing.

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The Louisiana Bucket Brigade is an environmental health and justice organization supporting neighborhoods’ use of grassroots action to create informed, sustainable communities free from industrial pollution.