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For Immediate Release, October 12, 2010

Contact: Kierán Suckling, (520) 275-5960

Center for Biological Diversity Statement on Lifting of Drilling Moratorium

TUCSON, Ariz.— Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, issued the following statement on today’s announcement that the moratorium on deepwater drilling is being lifted.

“The moratorium on deepwater drilling was put in place for a reason: This is a dangerous business that puts wildlife and the environment at risk each day. Every offshore oil rig is a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. The nightmare we all witnessed in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year came from a single blown-out well. The result was more than 200 million gallons of oil spilled, thousands of dead birds and sea turtles and the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

“The fact is that drilling off the coast of Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico is just as unsafe as it was before. This moratorium needs to stay in place until the Obama administration can prove that it’s safe — and that simply hasn’t happened.

“More than anything, the lifting of the moratorium is a display of the oil industry’s power over the White House. Under the oil industry’s influence, this administration in March proposed the largest expansion of offshore drilling in decades. And now the oil industry has forced the government to put America’s waters and wildlife in danger again by prematurely lifting this moratorium.

“Ever since the April 20 explosion in the Gulf, the Department of the Interior has exaggerated the extent of its environmental restrictions and consistently sought the smallest possible regulatory response to create the appearance of taking action. It’s disappointing to see Interior allowing dangerous offshore drilling to resume without fixing the fundamental danger it poses to people and the environment.”


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