Protect the Gulf of Mexico from Oil Spills

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Sponsor: The Rainforest Site

Tell our leaders that weakened oil and gas drilling safety regulations must be restored!


The Deepwater Horizon disaster was the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. It caused the deaths of 11 workers and left 4 million barrels of oil to pollute the Gulf of Mexico for nearly three straight months.

People living along the Gulf coast, along with native flora and fauna, are still reeling from this tragedy, and it's likely the environment may never fully recover.

The blowout preventer rule enacted in 2016 required real-time monitoring of operations and certification by third parties of emergency devices. These safety requirements were designed to prevent another Deepwater Horizon disaster from leaving the Gulf covered in oil.

Three years later, the safety requirements were repealed2.

While the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions placed on travel and work left oil and gas companies struggling to turn a profit, the Trump administration eased the environmental regulations to prop up offshore operations3. But the regulations were struck down with little consideration of the potential damage to offshore safety and the environment2.

The New York Times found that several of the independent companies seeking the rollback had been cited for workplace safety violations in recent years at a rate much higher than the industry average. Their offshore platforms suffer in some cases from years of poor maintenance, as well as equipment failures or metal fatigue on aging devices, records show3.

New oil leases are now being signed as world scientists stress that pollution from oil, gas and coal needs to decline rapidly to avert catastrophe. Conservationists say the developed land will never again be wild and experts have repeatedly shown the sales aren't even earning a fair return for taxpayers, costing the federal government and states billions of dollars5.

Scientists estimate that new oil leases in the Gulf could result in carbon emissions equal to the annual output of Brazil. Meanwhile, Earth is in the midst of a climate crisis that promises to leave future generations struggling to find food, water, and clean air5.

Millions of Americans and countless species are being put at risk by our self-destructive practices.

Disasters like the Deepwater Horizon spill and the Mississippi Canyon 209 spill can and must be prevented. It's time the United States becomes a leader in sourcing fuel responsibly and safely. Sign the petition and demand stronger safety regulations for offshore oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

More on this issue:

  1. Laurel Wamsley, NPR (3 May 2019), "Trump Administration Moves To Roll Back Offshore Drilling Safety Regulations."
  2. Liz Hampton, Reuters (29 August 2019), "Factbox: U.S. oil and gas regulatory rollbacks under Trump."
  3. Eric Lipton, the New York Times (10 March 2018), "Trump Rollbacks Target Offshore Rules 'Written With Human Blood'."
  4. Emily Holden, The Guardian (12 Feb 2020), "Trump 'turns back the clock' by luring drilling companies to pristine lands."
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The Petition:

To the Secretary of the Interior and President of the United States,

Millions of Americans and countless species are being put at risk by our self-destructive thirst for cheap fuel.

The blowout preventer rule enacted in 2016 required real-time monitoring of operations and certification by third parties of emergency devices. These safety requirements were designed to prevent another Deepwater Horizon disaster from leaving the Gulf covered in oil.

When the rule was lifted in 2019, the health of all Americans living along the Gulf coast was put at risk, along with countless species in the region.

The Deepwater Horizon Spill was the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. It caused the deaths of 11 workers and left 4 million barrels of oil to pollute the Gulf of Mexico for nearly three straight months. We can't afford to allow this to happen again.

In the era of an ever-worsening climate crisis, this kind of disaster can and must be prevented. It's time the United States becomes a leader in sourcing fuel responsibly and safely. I demand you restore blowout preventer and well control regulations to oil and gas drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: