(Cross-posted from ThinkProgress)
As Shell’s rigs head toward the Arctic to exploit melting sea ice to drill for more oil, the company took a small step this weekend toward clarifying what would happen in an oil spill during the company’s planned Arctic drilling operations this summer. Despite the oil industry’s spin, experts know it is impossible to recover more than a small fraction of a major marine oil spill, as retired Coast Guard Admiral Roger Rufe told NPR: “But once oil is in the water, it’s a mess. And we’ve never proven anywhere in the world — let alone in the ice — that we’re very good at picking up more than 3 or 5 or 10 percent of the oil once it’s in the water.”
Full story here: Shocking images from the BP Gulf disaster
The White House and BP have been hiding the truth about the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf.
After almost two years after Greenpeace submitted a Freedom of Information Request for images and information related to the BP Gulf of Mexico disaster, we finally received the first batch of files. The images are disturbing and beg the question: What else about the Gulf disaster is the White House and Big Oil hiding from the public?
The (horrible) picture below is of a “critically endangered” Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle.
Here some more of the images that we are releasing today. Take action and demand that the White House immediately make publicly available all the images, files and documentation before they reach a settlement with BP.
“These images of dead sea turtles, completely covered in oil, present a very different picture than what we were told by US officials,” said John Hocevar, a marine biologist with Greenpeace. “While the White House was trying to keep the emphasis on rosy stories of rescued animals being released back into the wild, they were sitting on these images of garbage bags full of Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles.”
Earlier today, President Obama’s staff held a hearing on their proposed 5 year oil leasing plan. A plan that would open up drilling in the Arctic. I was there with Cindy Shogan of Alaska Wilderness League, rallying people to urge the President to stop risking the Arctic and the support of young environmental voters.
When the BP Deepwater disaster happened, I saw firsthand the destruction that oil drilling causes on the environment.
Greenpeace activists, scientists and photographers have been working for weeks in the Gulf, witnessing first hand the destruction of the BP oil spill. On Monday, seven Greenpeace activists took action to prevent the next oil spill. Using oil from the Gulf spill, they painted the message “Arctic Next?” on the bridge of a supply ship that Shell has contracted for their proposed work in the Arctic.
The message was directed at Interior Secretary Ken Salazar who, only miles away inspecting the Gulf at the time, has the power to cancel Shell’s Arctic program.
Shell hopes to begin drilling off of Alaska’s North Slope this summer. It could be a bigger disaster than what we’re seeing in the Gulf with BP. There is simply no effective way to respond to a spill in the Arctic.
The activists were joined by each of you who helped carry this message to Secretary Salazar. So far over 27,600 emails have been sent and over 2,900 calls have been made to the Secretary!
Salazar is expected to make his decision this week on whether to allow Shell to begin drilling in the Arctic Ocean. This is a crucial opportunity to protect the Arctic. We all need to join these activists and work together to make sure Salazar keeps hearing our message! If you haven’t sent your message, please do so now. If you have already called, call again and get your friends to call as well.
The seven activists were arrested in the Gulf face heavy-handed charges. As Greenpeace Executive Director Phil Radford puts it, these charges are a “a disproportionate response to the peaceful protest that took place while not a single BP executive has been charged for the devastation they have wrought on the Gulf of Mexico.”
All this left me wondering what comes next so I asked my friend and Gulf activist, David. Here’s what he had to say:
“Well, I am truly inspired that thousands of Americans took action with me to prevent drilling in the Arctic Ocean. If we all keep this kind of pressure on Salazar, he’ll cancel Shell’s program and prevent what happened in the Gulf from happening in the Arctic.”
I couldn’t agree more.
It’s been a month since the BP oil disaster in the Gulf and over 6 million gallons of oil has already spilled and is showing no sign of letting up. A WHOLE MONTH has gone by and the situation only seems to be getting worse! And yet BP is rebranding themselves as “beyond petroleum” claiming that it sums up their brand as a company that is moving towards a “lower carbon future”?
On BP’s website they claim that they are a company that is “exploring, developing and producing more fossil fuel resources to meet growing demand”. But how exactly can you develop and produce more fossil fuels when it’s not a renewable resource and is made from the organic remnants of prehistoric life. BP claims they are trying to “meet the challenges of our time in a sustainable way”, but our resources are being depleted fast and once they’re gone, they’re gone…
So I guess when BP says they are “exploring, developing and producing more fossil fuel”, they actually mean they are about to make a decision on whether to invest billions of dollars into the Canadian tar sands – the dirtiest oil currently being produced. The tar sands of Canada are roughly the size of Belgium and are currently the biggest industrial development and opencast mining operation on the face of the Earth. They are natural deposits of heavy oil mixed with clay and sand that lay beneath the wilderness of Canada for which the only access is clearcutting the Boreal Forest. To produce one barrel of oil, two tons of land must be unearthed and when the pits are producing 1.82 million barrels a day, habitats are destroyed and many species are being driven to the brink of extinction. Sounds sustainable, right?
If they are supposedly trying to use more sustainable approaches, is there any rational reason as to why they would choose to invest in the tar sands which produce about three times the emissions per barrel of oil than you would get from normal crude? The projections of oil in the tar sands will create enough carbon emmissions by the end of the century to raise the global temperature by six degrees. As I said before; sounds sustainable, right?
Greenpeace agrees. This morning our climbers scaled the corporate headquarters of BP in London to give them their own rebranding makeover that better suits their dirty business. BP, now aptly known as “British Polluters” for their investment in the dirtiest oil on the planet, needs something else than a nice shiny green flower as their brand identity.
Take action today and tell Congress that it’s time that we end our addiction to fossil fuels. It’s time to invest more in sustainable energy unless we are prepared for more loss of life, more ecological catastrophe, and more economic ruin.