350Louisiana, Disaster Map, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Vanishing Earth: Oil Industry has 94 Accidents in Three Week Period

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350Louisiana, Disaster Map, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Vanishing Earth

For Immediate release
October 12, 2016     
Contact: Anne Rolfes, Founding Director, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, (504) 452-4909, anne@labucketbrigade.org

Where: One Shell Square, 201 Poydras Street, New Orleans

The Shell building is the location because Shell, with the deepest rig in the Gulf of Mexico, symbolizes that the industry still invests in exploration at the expense of safety.

When: 10:45 am, Wednesday, October 12th

Oil Industry has 94 Accidents in Three Week Period

Calls Continue for Obama to End Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico

(New Orleans) Proponents of an end to new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico are today releasing research into the oil industry’s most recent accidents as reported by both the oil industry and the public to the  National Response Center, the federal point of contact for oil industry accidents. The total for the three week period, September 15th – October 6th, is 94 accidents, or just over 30 per week.

“We’ve known for a long time that the oil industry has an accident problem, but since many accidents are offshore and out of site, they get away with it,” said Anne Rolfes, Founding Director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. “This sampling – 94 accidents in three weeks – shows that the industry has a problem. This is why we are calling for an end to new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.” Today’s research comes amidst an ongoing  #keepitintheground #nonewleases campaign calling on President Obama to end new drilling leases in the Gulf.

The oil industry is required by law to report its accidents. Callers, including members of the public who witness the accidents, file reports with the National Response Center. Reports include spills from offshore and inland facilities, pipelines, platforms, tanks and  vessels. “The Gulf region is under assault from a constant barrage of leaking oil, gas and other toxic chemicals,” said Jonathan Henderson, Founding President of Vanishing Earth. “The marine environment and our coastal wetlands are being poisoned on a daily basis by leaking wells, pipelines, and the dumping of untold amounts of toxic fracking chemicals. Everytime we fly out over the Gulf, we find something that needs to be reported to the National Response Center. The public deserves to know just how much contamination of our precious natural resources is occurring everyday.”

Today’s research highlights the most recent accidents but also provides a year to date  tally: 1,514. In 2015 there were 2,307 accidents reported to the National Response Center.

The research is presented on a map that shows the eroded coast of Louisiana as well as the average temperatures throughout the state for the last three weeks. According to the Louisiana State Climatologist Office, the average temperature from September 19th to October 6th was five degrees above normal. 

“We are steering our world toward more than 3 degrees Celsius of warming even if every nation implemented the Paris Climate Agreement,” said Renate Heurich a Climate Reality Leader and member of 350 Louisiana. “For people under 20 now the effects would be catastrophic, not just the wild weather we are currently experiencing with just 1 degree of warming. Our kids will experience ever more intense droughts, wildfires, sea level rise, species extinctions; even food and water shortages, refugee crises, wars. Therefore, we must leave most of our known fossil fuel reserves in the ground. We have less than 10 years left to radically shift our business model and drop our greenhouse gas emissions. At this point in history, it is insane to search for more oil and gas. We have the moral duty to hand a livable climate to our kids.”

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