Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Oceana Urges Cancellation of Central Gulf Lease Sale

Oceana Urges Cancellation of Central Gulf Lease Sale

Oceana

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) paved the way to opening roughly 63 million acres in the Central Gulf of Mexico Jan. 11 by issuing its Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Central Gulf lease sale 216/222 to new oil and gas exploration and development. This area notably includes the site of British Petroleum's (BP) massive 2010 oil spill.

“The Central Gulf of Mexico is literally a disaster zone, with oil plumes and dispersants still in the water, and marine life still trying to recover. We haven’t even fully assessed the damage done by the last spill. Allowing more drilling there is like opening up a crime scene before you have all the evidence and while the perpetrator is still at large,” said Jacqueline Savitz, senior campaign director for international ocean conservation group Oceana. “We need to understand what happened, how it affected the ecosystem and how we can prevent it from happening again before we reopen for business,” Savitz added.

For more specifics about shortcomings in drilling safety requirements, see the new Oceana analysis, False Sense of Safety.

Central Gulf waters are important habitat for bluefin and yellowfin tuna, red snapper, red drum and gulf sturgeon, in addition to numerous marine mammals. Many of these species are already struggling. Gulf sturgeon are endangered and bluefin tuna have been severely overfished. Until the status of these species is confirmed, it’s impossible to determine the impacts of this lease sale, a step required by law prior to the sale.

Many of the existing leases already purchased in the Gulf have yet to be tapped for oil. According to the U.S. Department of Interior, 76 percent of leases in the Central Gulf remained inactive as of October 2011 The companies holding these leases have not yet produced any oil from them. In addition, BOEM just sold off many more leases in the Western Gulf last month.

For these reasons, Oceana urges the Obama administration to more fully consider the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon spill prior to moving forward with a proposed Central Gulf lease sale.

For more information, click here.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' "Doomsday Clock" — an estimate of how close humanity is to the apocalypse — remains at 100 seconds to zero for 2021. Eva Hambach / AFP / Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

One hundred seconds to midnight. That's how close humanity is to the apocalypse, and it's as close as the world has ever been, according to Wednesday's annual announcement from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a group that has been running its "Doomsday Clock" since the early years of the nuclear age in 1947.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The 13th North Atlantic right whale calf with their mother off Wassaw Island, Georgia on Jan. 19, 2010. @GeorgiaWild, under NOAA permit #20556

North Atlantic right whales are in serious trouble, but there is hope. A total of 14 new calves of the extremely endangered species have been spotted this winter between Florida and North Carolina.

Read More Show Less

Trending

There are new lifestyle "medicines" that are free that doctors could be prescribing for all their patients. Marko Geber / Getty Images

By Yoram Vodovotz and Michael Parkinson

The majority of Americans are stressed, sleep-deprived and overweight and suffer from largely preventable lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Being overweight or obese contributes to the 50% of adults who suffer high blood pressure, 10% with diabetes and additional 35% with pre-diabetes. And the costs are unaffordable and growing. About 90% of the nearly $4 trillion Americans spend annually for health care in the U.S. is for chronic diseases and mental health conditions. But there are new lifestyle "medicines" that are free that doctors could be prescribing for all their patients.

Read More Show Less
Candles spell out, "Fight for 1 point 5" in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany on Dec. 11, 2020, in reference to 1.5°C of Earth's warming. The event was organized by the Fridays for Future climate movement. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Taking an unconventional approach to conduct the largest-ever poll on climate change, the United Nations' Development Program and the University of Oxford surveyed 1.2 million people across 50 countries from October to December of 2020 through ads distributed in mobile gaming apps.

Read More Show Less
A monarch butterfly is perched next to an adult caterpillar on a milkweed plant, the only plant the monarch will lay eggs on and the caterpillar will eat. Cathy Keifer / Getty Images

By Tara Lohan

Fall used to be the time when millions of monarch butterflies in North America would journey upwards of 2,000 miles to warmer winter habitat.

Read More Show Less