Hastings on Third Anniversary of BP Oil Spill
Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) made the following statement on the third anniversary of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico:
“Three years ago the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 people and injuring 17. Two hundred million gallons of crude oil flooded into the Gulf for 87 days, the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. The spill severely damaged the environment, destroying the way of life for thousands of Americans. Over 8,000 animals were reported dead within 6 months after the spill, and our ecosystem is still suffering from the long-term consequences of oil remnants in the ocean.
“While the magnitude of the Deepwater Horizon disaster is unparalleled in our country, oil spills and environmental contamination from the mining of fossil fuels are not anomalies. Between 2008 and 2012, U.S. pipelines spilled more than 3.1 million gallons of hazardous liquids per year. In 2010, 819,000 gallons of tar sands oil spilled from a pipeline after it ruptured in Michigan. Just last month, we saw another spill when the Exxon Mobil Pegasus Tar Sands pipeline in Arkansas leaked almost 300,000 gallons of crude oil. The combination of cutting costs with limited oversight and understaffed inspectors has created systemic problems that continue to plague the industry.
“Another, much larger, tar sands pipeline now also threatens our environment. The Keystone Pipeline runs thousands of miles long and is being considered by Congress for expansion. Knowing the detrimental harm that these pipelines can potentially cause, it is imperative that we end our dependence on fossil fuels.
“We must move forward with 21st century resources and develop a clean, renewable energy plan. As our coasts continue to recover from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, it is time to reject the dirty oil of the past and invest in green technology for a cleaner future.”
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.