ORLEANS -- New Orleans residents are today delivering a message outside
of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement
(BOEMRE): intensify oversight and prevent oil industry accidents. This
message is different from the state’s politicians who, on behalf of the
oil industry, are expected to pressure the Bureau to relax oversight in a
meeting this morning. “Oil industry and government records detail
thousands of oil industry accidents in the year since the BP Disaster,”
said Anne Rolfes, Founding Director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. “We
need to learn from that disaster and defend our coast and our people.”
Deepwater Horizon Joint Investigation Team released its final report
last month, and the evidence included violations of numerous safety
regulations. The report found both BP and contractors failed to follow
federal regulations. This trend continues today.
to the National Response Center there were over 3,000 oil industry
accidents in the Gulf of Mexico during the last year. This high accident
rate mirrors the industry’s problems on shore. According to reports
filed at the Department of Environmental Quality, the state’s 17
refineries have averaged nine accidents a week since 2005. “The bottom
line is that the oil industry has an accident problem, and we need more,
not less federal oversight,” said Ms. Rolfes.
The BP Oil
Disaster is the most glaring example of oil industry accidents, and
coastal residents continue to feel the effects. A study released two
weeks ago by scientists, including LSU’s Andrew Whitehead, found that
the impacts to the cocahoe minnow – a base of the food chain – are
likely to be serious and long lasting, impacting fisheries for years to
our ecosystem from oil pollution must be paired with real investment in
renewable energy. The BP oil disaster cleanup costs alone reached $5
million a day. If our nation invested in wind energy at that rate, it
would result in the ability to power 900 homes each day with
environmental friendly energy.
The groups today are calling on
BOEMRE to resist the pressure from politicians and listen to the ordinary
people impacted by oil industry accidents.
For a breakdown of accidents in the Gulf of Mexico since the BP Oil Disaster, click here.