Sierra Club Applauds New Drilling Safeguards, Calls for Aggressive Measures to End Oil Dependence

On September 31st, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar issued new regulations on offshore drilling operations. The regulations govern emergency response and safety measures such as blowout preventers.

Statement of Sierra Club Representative Athan Manuel

“It’s a relief to see the Interior Department increasing oversight of offshore drilling. These regulations are long overdue. For too many years, the oil industry has been allowed to put its profits over the safety of workers and the health of our oceans and the people who rely on them.

“These rules, however, don’t solve the bigger problem. Wherever there is offshore drilling, there will be oil spills, explosions, pipeline ruptures and other disasters. There’s no getting around the fact that oil is a dirty, dangerous business.

“The only way to truly protect our oceans and our livelihoods is to end our dependence on oil. Instead of seeking out more ways to drill for oil, we should be investing in clean energy solutions like wind and solar power and a 21st century transportation system. These solutions will create jobs and keep our oceans and communities intact.”

“We applaud Secretary Salazar for holding firm on the deepwater drilling moratorium. And we praise the Secretary for recognizing the BP oil disaster as a ‘turning point’ toward aggressively pursuing a clean, renewable energy future for our country.”

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