Tuesday, June 22, 2010

BP Blocks Rescue Efforts and Burns Animals Alive

The massive and continuing torrent of oil from the April 20 explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig is the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. The unfolding devastation will alter the entire ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico and beyond for years to come. Over 100 million gallons of oil are estimated to have been released into the Gulf, and recent estimates indicate that 2.5 million gallons continue to spew into the fragile ecosystem every day, the equivalent of a new Exxon Valdez every four and a half days.

Oiled and dead birds, sea turtles, dolphins and fish are showing up in increasing quantities, and many more dead animals are likely to be lost at sea, never to be accounted for. Oil is approaching sensitive breeding areas for birds on marshes and beaches, and scientists are predicting a near total breeding failure for those birds this year.

More sea turtles, fish and marine mammals are likely to suffer as the toxic plume, currently measuring 20 miles long and five miles wide, disperses through the water column. Forty endangered species, including sperm whales, manatees, sea turtles, and brown pelicans, are impacted as oil moves through the powerful waters of the Gulf Stream.

In addition to the oil, BP has applied over a million gallons of experimental, toxic chemicals to break down the oil and disperse it, damaging more wildlife by spreading the chemicals throughout the food chain and disseminating the oil further. Moreover, cleanup efforts have been erratic and insufficient, and there have even been reports of BP workers blocking efforts to rescue endangered sea turtles and burning animals alive.[1][2]

Please contact President Obama and ask him to immediately and permanently ban all future offshore drilling projects; halt the use of chemical dispersants; ensure that wildlife rescue efforts proceed uninterrupted; investigate claims that BP is blocking rescue efforts; and develop strong recovery actions for threatened and endangered species.

Source: Animal Welfare Institute (AWI)

[1] Los Angeles Times, "Death by fire in the gulf", (June 17, 2010).
[2] Sea Turtle Restoration Project, “BP Blocks Attempt to Save Endangered Sea Turtles from Oil Spill”, (June 16, 2010).

For more information, visit the Food and Water Watch website, Spill the Truth

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