Statement from the Southern Environmental Law Center on Proposed Offshore Drilling Rules
The Southern Environmental Law Center released the following statement in response to the Department of Interior’s proposed offshore drilling rules:
“Fully five years after the BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, the Department of Interior has finally proposed – not finalized, but proposed – new rules to reduce the risk of a major offshore blowout,” said Sierra Weaver, senior attorney at SELC. “While this was one of the first and most urgently needed reforms identified by multiple investigations into the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history, which spilled over 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over the course of 87 days, it is only now being seriously discussed.
“Importantly, however, these proposed rules do nothing to alleviate the significant concerns our Southern coastal communities have about opening our shores to risky drilling. Even if there is never another major accident – and nothing, including these rules, can provide that assurance – our coasts would be irreparably changed if the proposal to open the Southeast Atlantic moves forward. The industrialization and infrastructure associated with drilling – the rigs, refineries, pipelines, traffic, and routine spills and accidents – is entirely incompatible with our beautiful and pristine Southern coasts and the economies that depend on them.”