NEW YORK, NY and BATON ROUGE, LA, May 13, 2016 —- An underwater pipeline at a Shell oil drilling platform has spilled 90,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, causing an oil sheen that is two miles wide and thirteen miles long. Reportedly, the leak has been stopped and cleanup is underway. Marc Yaggi, Executive Director of Waterkeeper Alliance, and Paul Orr, LEAN’s Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper, reacted to the spill:
“This latest offshore oil disaster once again demonstrates the inherent dangers of fossil fuels, and the irresponsibility of allowing new oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico even as these spills continue to happen,” Marc Yaggi, executive director of Waterkeeper Alliance, said. “We have a decade-long, ongoing oil spill that the government won’t force Taylor Energy to fix and the Gulf is struggling from the impacts of Deepwater Horizon. The Gulf must no longer be treated as a sacrificial zone. It is time that the federal government recognized that for the health of our ocean, coasts and climate, there must be no further offshore oil leasing.”
Paul Orr, LEAN’s Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper said: “As we monitor oil and gas activity in the Gulf of Mexico, we are seeing an almost constant spilling of oil. And these larger spills are happening on a much more frequent basis than I think anyone realizes. This is a significant spill in deep water almost 100 miles offshore. There are deep water coral reefs in the area and all manner of sea creatures can be found there including whales, whale sharks, sea turtles, and tuna. The impacts to the Gulf environment are significant. It is unacceptable that oil spills are so common in the Gulf and equally unacceptable that the regulatory agencies are so lax in their enforcement and oversight.”
Waterkeeper Alliance and LEAN will continue to monitor developments regarding the spill and share relevant information with the public.