More Proof That Drilling’s Dirty

If you’ve been paying attention to our blog, or the news, you know there’s more oil spewing into the Gulf and affecting parts of the coast, but the origins seem to remain a mystery.When GRN flew over the slicks (yes, with an “s”) earlier this week, the lack of response activity was striking. Despite this clear example of the dangers involved, the federal government is once again granting permits for deepwater offshore drilling in the Gulf. It almost seems that in less than one year, the nation has managed to forget BP’s oil drilling disaster (BP even had the gall to release a 2010 “sustainability” report this week).BP’s crude continues to impact the Gulf, and this latest spill is a poignant reminder that more must be done to tighten oil and gas drilling rules to prevent future oil disasters. Response plans must also be adequate to address the inevitable accidents that happen. The Gulf of Mexico needs a Regional Citizens Advisory Council.After the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, the nation learned that the best way to ensure safety is to involve the local communities who pay the price for the oil industry’s mistakes.It took the Coast Guard days after reports from local fishermen to release formal information about the most recent spills. Coastal residents were largely brought into BP’s clean up operations, but it took months to organize the effort. A Regional Citizens Advisory Council will ensure that permits and production activity receive proper scrutiny and response plans are fully developed and realistic.Please take a moment today to ask your elected officials to support a Regional Citizens Advisory Council.Aaron Viles is GRN’s Deputy Director

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