Greenpeace: Obama must shelve Arctic drilling plans, call for offshore moratorium

In light of the ongoing offshore oil drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico Greenpeace is demanding that President Barack Obama cancels Arctic drilling plans and calls for an offshore moratorium.

The Deepwater Horizon accident has resulted in eleven lives lost, countless of animal lives affected and an oil spill that is growing in size every day. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have concluded that around 5000 barrels of oil is leaking every day from the destroyed oil rig managed by BP. According to reports the oil spill has tripled in size during these past days.

While touring the area at risk from the oil spill Obama blamed the "unprecedented environmental disaster" on BP while saying they "will be paying the bill":

"Let me be clear: BP is responsible for this leak. BP will be paying the bill," said Obama as he visited the area and pledged a "fully coordinated, relentless relief effort" in the region where the coastlines of four Gulf states are being menaced. [...]"We a dealing with a massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster," Obama said.

And why shouldn't they? After all BP is the third largest global energy company and the 4th largest company in the world. Reuters also reports that:

"The spill has also forced Obama to suspend politically sensitive plans to expand offshore oil drilling, unveiled last month partly to woo Republican support for climate legislation, one of the U.S. leader's priorities."

And following this suspension on offshore oil drilling Greenpeace Executive Director, Philip Radford said that while Obama's announcement was "a welcome first step" it isn't enough:

“The President’s announcement today, while a welcome first step, does not go nearly far enough. The only way to prevent human, economic and environmental tragedies like the BP Deepwater Disaster is to re-enact the moratorium on offshore drilling and to replace dirty dangerous fuels with clean energy."

"If we cannot handle a spill in the Gulf of Mexico, imagine the impact even a small spill could have in the remote, pristine waters of the Arctic", Radford said in a statement.

Greenpeace also notes that on April 2nd, just days before the BP Deepwater Spill began, President Obama said:

"It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don't cause spills. They are technologically very advanced."

Maybe this time BP really should go "beyond petroleum"?

Related reading:

- Documents Show BP Opposed New, Stricter Safety Rules

- Rig explosion dirties BP's green image

- BP Deepwater Disaster and Gulf Oil Spill (Greenpeace)

- Dick Cheney and the oil spill

- BP warned of rig fault ten years ago

- BP accused as size of oil slick triples in a day

- Oil Spill Vs. Wind Spill Vs. Sun Spill.


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Simon Leufstedt
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