President’s Oil Spill Commission Report Reinforces Need to Protect Georgia’s Coasts

Media Contacts

Environment Georgia

Atlanta, GA — Today President Obama’s Oil Spill Commission released its final report on the causes of the Gulf disaster with detailed recommendations for avoiding future catastrophes.

Environment Georgia and the Surfrider Foundation released the following statement. Both organizations have worked to defend America’s beaches and oceans from the expansion of offshore drilling. Jennette Gayer with Environment Georgia said the following:

“The Oil Spill Commission’s report confirms that the root causes of the largest oil spill in U.S. history are systemic in the oil industry, bolstering the Obama administration’s sage decision to protect our coasts from expanded drilling for the next several years.

“In November Environment Georgia and the Sierra Club released “Too Much at Stake: Don’t Gamble with our Coasts,” which shows that coastal tourism and fishing generate more than $200 billion annually and provide 4.1 million jobs in the U.S.

“The Oil Spill Commission and the Obama administration have clearly worked overtime to make the industry safer and more environmentally sensitive, and we appreciate that, but the safest drilling is no drilling. We should work to protect our coasts permanently by reducing our oil dependence while transitioning to sustainable forms of energy. 

“The commission’s report comes days after the oil industry audaciously called for an expansion of offshore drilling in their own report on the state of American energy. Big Oil’s call for an expansion of offshore drilling, including into some of our most treasured marine environments, is a prescription for another disaster.

“Transportation accounts for two-thirds of the oil Americans use, so making more efficient cars and trucks is the easiest way to reduce our oil dependence. President Obama is currently considering a standard that would require new cars and light trucks to go 60 miles on a gallon of gas by 2025. Such a standard would save consumers billions at the pump, reduce oil use by 44 billion gallons in 2030, reduce air pollution and prevent future oil spills.”

Chad Nelson, Environmental Director, of the Surfrider Foundation said the following in response to the report released today:

 “The Oil Spill Commission report reminds us that offshore drilling is an inherently risky activity that directly threatens our coastlines. The BP disaster was not a freak accident, the Commission noted, but rather a product of systemic failure of both industry and government.

“The report’s findings underscore the prudence of the Obama Administration’s decision to limit new offshore drilling in the next several years. Our nation’s coasts provide billions of dollars in economic revenue through recreation, tourism, and healthy seafood.

“We must protect these important benefits through reinstating a federal ban on new offshore drilling. This is another wake-up call that we need to develop a sustainable energy portfolio that includes renewable sources and conservation.”