We’ve seen how catastrophic oil spills have been for our ocean, marine wildlife, people living in coastal communities and coastal economies. Offshore drilling is outdated and risky. It’s time to transition the United States away from fossil fuels and toward a clean ocean energy future.
It has been 13 years since the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 people and marking one of the largest environmental disasters in U.S. history, and the impacts are still being felt to this day. Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, marine mammals and birds died, and the oil on the sea floor covered an area 20 times the size of Manhattan—it could take 50-100 years for the deep ocean ecosystem to recover.
The human health symptoms after toxic exposure to an oil spill can include headaches, nausea and vomiting, coughing, lung and other respiratory problems, fatigue, dizziness and memory loss. The devastating tolls from oil spills are disproportionately felt by people and communities in parts of America that are treated as sacrifice zones. Studies show that communities that have historically experienced systematic inequity—primarily people of color and low-income communities—make up the majority of fenceline communities near petroleum production and refining plants. They bear the increased risk of health concerns.
We cannot risk another offshore drilling disaster. Take action with Ocean Conservancy and urge Congress to phase out dangerous, dirty offshore drilling.