Missing the Big Picture

Last week Charlotte Wells, Galveston Baykeeper, submitted a letter to the editor to the Houston Chronicle. Unfortunately, it didn't get printed, but that doesn't mean we aren't going to share it with you. See below.

The letter was a direct response to an article about an oil spill hearing taking place on the morning of June 2 held by Rep Issa. The hearing was obviously political in nature and not Gulf Coast restoration in nature. Later in the day the same newspaper published this AP article about the political-ness of the oil spill hearing.

The Chronicle has carried reports on Thursday’s Congressional BP Spill hearings; while the House debates the wisdom of the Administration’s decision to discontinue deepwater drilling, they miss the bigger picture.  If we simply speed up deepwater drilling without adequately addressing the problems that led to the disaster, the urgent question becomes, “when will the next big oil disaster reach the Gulf Coast’s shores and communities?” 

One year after the BP disaster, there hasn't been a single piece of legislation fixing systemic problems that led to 250 million gallons of oil and 1.8 million gallons of dispersants being discharged into the Gulf.  Any hearing on the BP disaster must be about how to move forward, implementing Oil Spill Commission recommendations and dedicating Clean Water Act fines to Gulf Coast recovery.  Our Gulf economy is closely linked to our Gulf ecosystem; we can't afford to play political games at the expense of either.

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