Since Monday, April 20th, will mark 10 years since the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, New Jersey Democrat Lisa McCormick participated in a conference call with a retired engineer who worked on the Deepwater Horizon for 5 years, Retired Army Lt. General Russel Honore’, two members of Congress and other leading environmental advocates.
The BP Deepwater Horizon disaster was the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history, lasting almost three months before the gushing well was finally capped.
“There are 15 rigs placed in deeper water today than the BP Deepwater Horizon was in ten years ago and there have been thousands of leaks, spills and ruptures on American pipelines, some killing people and many causing billions of dollars in damages,” said McCormick. “On land or sea, fossil fuels are dangerous and burning them is killing our planet.”
“Climate change is one of the most important issues of our time,” said McCormick. “The debate is over: Climate change is real, it’s caused by human activity and is already causing devastating damage to the entire planet.”
On the call with McCormick were:
- Rep. Alan Lowenthal, who is currently serving California’s 47th district and is a member of the House of Natural Resources Committee
- Rep. Darren Soto, who is currently serving Florida’s 9th district and is a member of the House of Natural Resources Committee
- Leo Linder, retired rig worker on the Deepwater Horizon
- Sam Sankar, Earthjustice Senior VP of Litigation and former deputy chief council of the Obama administration’s BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill commission
- Cyn Sarthou, Executive Director at Healthy Gulf
- Louis Skrmetta, Owner of Ship Island Excursions out of Gulfport, Mississippi
- Lt. General Russel Honore’, Retired Army lieutenant general and Director of the Green Army
Linder recently pointed out that the Trump administration’s new proposed rules would save oil companies $1.3 billion by putting offshore oil rigs, and the people who work on them, at greater risk.
Lowenthal and Soto each lamented the fact the Senate Republicans have refused to take up legislation approved by the House of Representatives. Sarthou and Skrmetta recounted personal examples about the devastating impact on businesses and the communities that the spill had.
“We need to rejuvenate our voice as we come up on the commemoration of this great disaster,” said Honore’, who added: “They let BP off the hook… the fine was miniscule and it was written off as a tax deduction, so the America people are actually paying for it.”
McCormick said that now, 10 years later, she hopes the discussion with members of Congress, community representatives, offshore experts, an engineer who worked on the Deepwater Horizon, and a small business owner will stimulate discussion about the fallout of the tragedy.
“If we do not reflect on the mistakes that led to the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, we will not be able to prevent another disaster like this from happening again,” said McCormick. “In simple terms, we must stop corporations from racing to to make a profit without thinking about the human cost or the price extracted from the environment.”
Lisa McCormick has endorsed the Earth Charter and she is proud to have taken the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge.