BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster was the largest oil spill in U.S. history. The July 15 Business article “The oil giant that was ‘forced to shrink to greatness’ ” noted that BP was helping to clean up the mess. Eleven lives were lost, and tourism, recreation and fishing livelihoods were irrevocably harmed. No amount of money for coastal restoration can justify these consequences.
The long-term damage to the Gulf of Mexico from the 2010 disaster is still being realized. A recent study found that oil still lingers on the ocean floor and could return to the water column. Catastrophic spills are an inevitable part of offshore oil drilling. This is not a risk we should be bringing to any new areas, as President Trump has proposed. Worse, the administration is simultaneously proposing to reverse the few safety rules put in place after the spill.
It is time we transition to clean energy, such as offshore wind, because, when we drill, a spill is only a matter of time. As one official said, “The shadow of Deepwater Horizon will always be with the company.” I agree, and it reminds us that President Trump’s attempts to expand offshore drilling and to roll back safety standards are shortsighted and should be stopped.
Diane Hoskins, Washington
The writer is a campaign director of Oceana.