|It’s been five years since the BP oil spill disaster first devastated wetlands, beaches, and wildlife habitats in the Gulf; and the impacts are still far from over.
A recent study found that the highest number of bottlenose dolphin strandings between 2010 and early 2013 took place in areas most impacted by the 2010 BP oil spill.
Earlier this year, a Louisiana federal judge ruled that BP face a potential fine of $13.7 billion for the devastation caused by their oil disaster in the Gulf. However, there is no guarantee those fines will go toward the restoration of habitats for species like the bottlenose dolphin.
It’s up to people like you to make sure the BP’s fines from the Gulf oil disaster go toward real environmental and community restoration, not corporate development in fragile areas.
Send a message telling the Department of Commerce to make sure BP’s Gulf oil disaster fines are used for restoring Gulf wildlife, ecosystems and communities!
In what many believe is a first in U.S. history, Congress has decided to give away a sacred Native American site to a massive foreign mining company.1 We’re joining a last ditch effort to save this land before copper mining begins and this land is irreversibly destroyed.
Republicans in Arizona have been attempting for years to trade away the beautiful national forest lands at Oak Flat in Arizona, which are considered holy by the Apache tribe. And until recently, they’ve failed for lack of support. But last December, in a deeply cynical and undemocratic move, Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake snuck last minute language into a must-pass defense bill transferring the land directly to the Rio Tinto mining company.2
Apache tribal leaders are planning a caravan to Washington, D.C. this month to protest this outrageous land giveaway. We’re joining thousands of activists to help amplify their message and pressure Congress to stop the Apache land grab.
Sign the petition: Stop the Apache land grab and protect Native American holy land from copper mining.
It’s hard to imagine politicians in Washington making the same deal for this land if it were considered sacred and holy by any other major religious group. But it’s sadly in keeping with a history of Native American mistreatment and dislocation.
And this land isn’t just important to the local Apache tribe – it’s important to historians, archaeologists, and all Americans who care about preserving a crucial piece of U.S. and Native American culture. When asked about the significance of the land at Oak Flat, a professor at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada stated, “this is the best set of Apache archaeological sites ever documented, period, full stop.”3
Foreign-owned mining giant Rio Tinto has repeatedly sought control of this copper-rich land over the past decade, lobbying Congress more than a dozen times since 2005.4 And it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Senators McCain and Flake were behind this unprecedented corporate giveaway. McCain has received campaign contributions from Rio Tinto subsidiaries for years, and Flake – before being elected to Congress – actually lobbied for a Rio Tinto subsidiary in support of a massive uranium mine in Namibia.
We need to fight back against this deeply undemocratic move and show Washington that Americans won’t stand by as our legislative process is twisted and sold off to the highest bidder.
Sign the petition: Protect Native American holy land from mining.
Thank you for your activism.
- Lydia Millet, “Selling Off Apache Holy Land,” The New York Times, May 29, 2015.
- Zach Zorich, “Planned Arizona copper mine would put a hole in Apache archaeology,” Science, December 10, 2014.
- Serene Fang, “In Arizona, a controversial federal land swap leaves Apaches in the lurch,” Al Jazeera America, February 20, 2015.
Tell President Obama: No Offshore Drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic
Oil spills could soon scar the United States East Coast and Arctic Ocean, if we don’t speak up. The Obama administration has released its draft five-year plan for oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf, and huge swaths of the Atlantic Ocean and Arctic Ocean are included for potential development.
Once drilling starts, so will the spilling – toxic oil contaminating our oceans, harming wildlife and ocean-dependent industries. The specter of a disaster like BP Deepwater Horizon would loom large.
And all of this suffering is completely unnecessary. An Oceana report released earlier this month showed that offshore wind in the Atlantic would produce twice as much energy and twice as many jobs as offshore drilling. The Arctic’s harsh conditions have proved companies are not ready to operate safely there with some even walking away from leases they bought over the last decade.
We must act now to keep the threat of new offshore drilling from becoming a reality.
Make your voice heard – Sign our petition to tell President Obama to keep new offshore drilling out of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. Oceana will submit this petition and your signature to the five-year plan’s comment period.
Dear President Obama, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Abigail Ross Hopper,
Please do not permit offshore drilling for oil in the Atlantic Ocean off the United States East Coast or in the United States Arctic Ocean as currently proposed in the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) draft 2017 to 2022 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program.
The Atlantic Ocean has long been spared from the dangerous threats posed by offshore drilling and must retain these important protections. Drilling in the Atlantic would expose marine wildlife, and important industries that depend on healthy oceans, to unprecedented risk. As many as 138,000 dolphins and whales could be harmed by seismic blasting. Once drilling begins, spills will inevitably follow.
The effects of the BP disaster are still being felt in the Gulf. And the root causes of this tragedy are still largely unresolved. To needlessly expose the East Coast to the threat of oil extraction and spills is short-sighted and irresponsible. Oil spills do not follow state lines. Offshore drilling and the risk of spills in any of the proposed states, is a risk to neighboring states even if they do not want drilling.
Oceana released a report earlier this month that showed offshore wind in the Atlantic would produce twice as much energy and twice as many jobs as offshore drilling. The risks posed by new drilling are simply not worth it.
Past efforts to explore for offshore oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean has put our oceans at risk, led to controversy, litigation, government investigations, and near disaster. There is no good reason to continue down that path by selling even more leases in the Arctic Ocean. Companies are not ready to operate safely, have not explored the leases they already own, and many have walked away from leases they bought over the last decade.
I applaud the President’s action to protect Hanna Shoal and coastal areas along the Chukchi Sea and in the Beaufort Sea. However, in the context of offering additional offshore leases for drilling these sound actions will not be adequate to protect the Arctic Ocean from harm or the devastating impacts of an oil spill.
Please remove the Atlantic and the Arctic oceans from the proposed five-year oil and gas leasing program on the Outer Continental Shelf.
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