Oil Spills Are Just Business as Usual

The nation is just waking up to the fact that oil spills are just business as usual for the oil and gas industry, but Gulf Coast communities have known this for years. Restoring the Gulf Coast in the wake of the BP oil disaster isn't just about the impacts of last summer because as folks around here say, BP isn't the only game in town. Coastal communities are facing a decades long legacy of oil pollution and we must use the opportunity for restoration created by the BP oil disaster to create resilient communities.

Last week, I gave you an update on the most recent work of the Gulf Monitoring Consortium. Over the past several weeks, oil slicks have been spotted in the area near the Macondo well, giving anxiety to those that experienced last summer on the front lines. SkyTruth, SouthWings, and Waterkeeper Alliance have kept in touch daily searching for the origins of these oil slicks. We feel there is no evidence that either the Macondo well or the two relief wells are leaking. Paul Orr, Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper recently posted an excellent blog on our work. It's worth the read and provides you with an insight to just what business as usual looks like for the oil industry in the Gulf of Mexico.

The anxiety about the deficiencies of the oil and gas industry isn't felt in isolation along the Gulf Coast. Extraction industries exists around the world creating environmental disasters far too regularly. To give you a sense of what we are facing as communities who desire a cleaner and safer way to create energy, I collected a few stories.

The fight to stop KeyStone XL Pipeline

Scores of Kenyans severly injured during pipeline explosion

Agency struggles to safeguard U.S. pipeline system

New poll finds that Appalachian people oppose mountaintop removal

South Texas activist struggles to halt the impacts of oil industry on his community

The BP oil disaster was not the first oil spill in the U.S. and hasn't been the last, but oil spills don't have to be business as usual for the oil and gas industry. It's time we stopped accepting oil pollution as the necessary sacrifice for fossil fuels. Gulf Coast people and all those on the frontlines of oil pollution must stand up and become the leaders we need to find sustainable and safe energy.

Renee Blanchard, Save Our Gulf, Coordinator

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