BP's Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Needs to Catalyze Energy Policy Change NOW

Posted on Wednesday May 5, 02010



The United States of America needs to come together right now and dedicate our will, ingenuity and resolve to transforming the means in which we fuel and power our national economy.  We need to use this moment in time to catalyze the social and political process of creating a new sustainable and clean energy policy.  From the fuels which power our personal vehicles to the means in which we power our industries, cities and homes - our Nation and Planet Earth needs us to change.

A May 4th New York Times article reads: " In a closed-door briefing for members of Congress, a senior BP executive conceded Tuesday that the ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico could conceivably spill as much as 60,000 barrels a day of oil, more than 10 times the estimate of the current flow."

Just look at this infographic by David McCandless breaking down the severity of this spill. CLICK ON GRAPHIC TO ENLARGE

Deepwater Infographic Small

We cannot let BP off the hook on this crisis.  And we need to look in the mirror as well.  Our own politicians regularly grant exemptions to the environmental impact studies of the oil industry's offshore drilling operations.  In a May 5th article in the Washington Post Kierán Suckling, executive director of the environmental group Center for Biological Diversity, explains how this federal waiver system puts "BP entirely in control" of the way it conducts its drilling operations. The Federal Minerals Management Service (MMS) "oversight role has devolved to little more than rubber-stamping British Petroleum's self-serving drilling plans." The MMS gave BP's lease at Deepwater Horizon a "categorical exclusion" from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on April 6, 2009 -- and BP continued their lobbying efforts to expand those exemptions just 11 days before the explosion.

Why? Why did the agency of our government that's tasked with oversight of the safety precautions allow BP and other oil companies the  ability to drill with obviously inadequate safety precautions and "rubber-stamp" oversight? Because AMERICA IS ADDICTED TO OIL.  Our entire country absolutely depends upon it to fuel our economy and our daily lives.


We need to change.  This devastating crisis is just one in a long line of ramifications of how systematically and destructively addicted we are.  Here are a few things to consider to help support and bring upon the change we need. Please review and take action today!

1.) Sign RePower America's Petition and "call on Congress to stand up to polluters and ignite a clean energy revolution by passing comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation this year!"

2.) Contact your Senator and tell them that you support The U.S. House of Representatives work on a bill to raise the liability cap for oil spills to $10 billion from $75 million and that all of Congress needs to work on the Clean Energy and Climate legislation bill THIS YEAR! This phone number will route you directly to your Senator's office 1-877-973-7693. It takes 2 minutes!

3.) Donate to the Sierra Club's efforts to fight for stronger environmental and energy laws that will go toward helping reduce our dependence on oil, without putting our oceans and fragile coastal environments at risk and endangering the millions of jobs supported by coastal economies.

4.) Send a picture of yourself holding a sign in front of a BP gas station and join 1Sky's movement to tell Congress to stop Offshore Drilling.


UPDATE: added 5/13/10

This is video of the actual oil leak.  Everyday the list of scientists grows who are testifying that the flow rate is far greater than the early EPA and BP estimates.

Update: added 5/20/10

If you don't see blue in the water in this picture you're looking at the oil slick.  It is truly and horribly gigantic as this image from space shows. Click to enlarge.

Oil Slick from Space


UPDATE: added 5/27/10

With BP's Top Kill strategy underway still for the 2nd day, new perspectives are being presented to us to show the extent of the disaster under the surface where the majority of the devestation is occuring.


Update: added 6/4/10

With the latest "Top Kill" effort to cap the BP Horizon Oil Spill having failed, the folks at Information is Beautiful have updated their initial inforgraphic of the spill.  And while we would have wished for a quicker and less passive federal managing of BP's  response, President Obama has quite appropriately declared that there will be a criminal inquiry into the BP Horizon Oil Spill.  As a citizen of the US and of Planet Earth, I'm glad to see an effort to demand accountability of this disaster. The Obama Administration has also wisely seized the opportunity to advance and promote a new Clean Energy Policy for the United States of America.  This is vital to decreasing our addiction and dependence on oil and non-renewable fossil fuels.  Please add your voice in support of these efforts.

In Deeper Water


Hello Friend,

No long wind-up needed this time, I just wanted to share with you what President Obama just said in Pittsburgh about the climate and energy legislation you and I have been working overtime to get passed for a year now:

"The House of Representatives has already passed a comprehensive energy and climate bill, and there is currently a plan in the Senate - a plan that was developed with ideas from Democrats and Republicans - that would achieve the same goals.  Pittsburgh, I want you to know, the votes may not be there right now, but I intend to find them in the coming months.  I will make the case for a clean energy future wherever I can, and I will work with anyone to get this done, and we will get it done.  The next generation will not be held hostage to energy sources from the last century.  We are not going to move backwards, we are going to move forward."

If you have time, read his entire remarks, but if you don't, here's the bottom line: this is just what we needed with Congress coming back into session  next week. Just as we saw with health care, when the President throws down the gauntlet, and puts his prestige on the line and puts the full weight of the White House behind it, we can do big things - the whole debate changes.

This is the fourth time in just 12 days that the President has made it crystal clear that he's not waiting - he's working with us to get our bill passed this year. As he's been saying, the catastrophe in the Gulf shows without a doubt that we need to end our oil addiction, and the Senate has to be on record this year doing something to finally tackle the challenge - no watered down, feel good measures that only postpone the day of reckoning; we're making it happen now.

This is going to be a big fight and we'll need all hands on deck in the next couple of months to make this happen - but now no one can dispute this: President Obama has doubled down on victory.

I'll loop back with ways you can make a difference - now I wanted you to see this, and I want you to know we're on track for the fight you've been pushing for every step of the way.

Now let's make it happen,
John Kerry

Call Your Senator

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