New Orleans, Louisiana – Citizens and representatives of organizations gathered today to celebrate the court ruling by U.S. District Judge Barbier that BP’s action leading to the 2010 drilling disaster were grossly negligent.
“BP's oil is still washing up on the beaches of the Gulf and is still impacting the Gulf’s communities and wildlife,” said Cynthia Sarthou, Executive Director of the Gulf Restoration Network. “Judge Barbier vindicated all of us who believed that BP had behaved recklessly and was grossly negligent. If BP will just own up to the damage they’ve done, then we can get to the business of restoring the Gulf. They should be making it right in the Gulf, not spending millions on PR and legal fees appealing this decision. “
“BP’s Geoff Morrell claimed that they alone stepped up to the plate in the aftermath of the 2010 drilling disaster, when he spoke last night at the Society for Environmental Journalists conference here in New Orleans. The dozens of communities I support and work with would laugh at this,” said Jayeesha Dutta, Gulf Future Coalition Coordinator. “Our communities and organizations were the ones who banded together to take an unprecedented unified stand for comprehensive ecosystem and economic restoration. Judge Barbier’s ruling finding BP grossly negligent confirms our Gulf Coast communities’ experience. BP is dragging their feet and slowing down the process of ensuring urgent restoration work to remedy the tremendous injuries our coast and communities have suffered.”
“If BP really wants to make things right in the Gulf they also need to cooperate with the Natural Resource Damage Assessment instead of making it an adversarial process,” said Sarthou. “And for true restoration to occur, the people who call the Gulf home must be involved in decisions about restoration.”
The Gulf Future Coalition, comprised of 62 partner organizations, was created shortly after the BP oil disaster of 2010 with a mission of providing the long-term support needed to protect the environment and the distinct culture of the Gulf Coast for future generations.
Gulf Restoration Network is a 20-year-old non-profit dedicated to uniting and empowering people to protect and restore the health of the Gulf of Mexico.