For immediate release
October 17, 2017
Contact: Anne Rolfes, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, (504) 452-4909
Press conference: 11:40 am, 1001 Capitol Access Road, Baton Rouge, LA
(Baton Rouge) Louisiana residents convened today at the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion and Capitol office in the wake of two oil industry accidents in a three day span, including one that injured seven men and has one still missing. This comes as Governor Edwards promises that the Bayou Bridge Pipeline will be done right. “We don’t for a second believe that the state of Louisiana is able to oversee the safe construction and operation of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline,” said Anne Rolfes of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. “There are accidents every single week in the oil industry in this state, and there is no sign of this epidemic ending.”
The groups involved in today’s action, including 350 Louisiana, BOLD Louisiana and the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, are highlighting the recent accidents because of Governor John Bel Edwards’ claim that he is going to make sure that the Bayou Bridge Pipeline is done right. The oil industry has had two serious accidents in a three day span. The first accident took place on Friday the 13th and spilled 9,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The second was an explosion on a rig on Sunday the 15th in Lake Ponchartrain that sent men to the burn unit and likely killed another man who is still missing.
The groups today are advocating that the Governor request an Environmental Impact Statement for the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. The concern about jobs, they argue, can be met by putting women and men to work repairing the current pipeline network which is in deplorable condition. Robustly developing Louisiana’s renewable energy jobs is also an avenue for safe jobs.
“Right now we are pursuing ever more extreme forms of oil and gas extraction, which are dangerous not just for workers but for all of us,” said Renate Heurich of 350Louisiana. “Gas will explode, oil will leak, burning them is destroying our climate. Solar, wind, energy storage and energy efficiency work well and are clean and safe for workers and for us. One day, we'll have to answer our kids how we could have been so foolish to dismiss the dire warnings of every climate scientist, how we could have been so selfish to insist on business as usual.”