Transboundary agreement spells disaster for the Gulf

Media release - February 22, 2012
In response to the United States and Mexico signing an agreement to develop oil and gas reservoirs that cross the international maritime boundary between the two countries in the Gulf of Mexico Greenpeace United States and Mexico have signed their own transboundary agreement.

Greenpeace US and Mexico signed the agreement concerning their governments continued obsession with helping the gas and oil industry profit off polluting the climate and devastating the Gulf of Mexico. “The US and Mexican governments say their agreement is “designed to enhance energy security in North America,” an impossibility given the continued support for fossil fuel production over secure, renewable energy sources. President Obama's failure to permanently reject the Keystone XL pipeline, his expanding coal mining on public lands, and approval of oil exploration in the Arctic lay the groundwork for this new policy,” said Greenpeace US Climate Campaigner Kyle Ash.

“This agreement opens new areas to dangerous, expensive, and controversial offshore drilling techniques. This is what led to the deaths of eleven workers and over 200 million gallons of oil spewing into the Gulf just two years ago,’ said Mr Ash. “The US-Mexican joint statement called for “the highest degree of safety and environmental standards,” which the US Congress has failed to improve since the Deepwater disaster. A recent report from the National Research Council reaffirmed that deepwater drilling remains unsafe.”

Drilling could take place in the Gulf at depths typically greater than 8,500 feet, deeper than at any drilling site in the world. The BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe occurred in water 5,000 feet deep

“Deepwater exploration is a huge risk to the environment and a waste of resources for the country. Each oil spill at sea disrupts the ecosystem, causing ecological disturbances, some temporary, others permanent. State-owned oil company Pemex has a history of oil spills off the coast of Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Tabasco and Campeche and now with plans for deepwater exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, the potential for disaster increases exponentially,” said Greenpeace Mexico Climate Campaigner Beatriz Olivera.  

“To bet on difficult and expensive oil extraction is a waste of public resources for Mexico’s goverment. The border area is classified as a high risk area for deep levels. Drilling a single well in the border region means additional indebtedness of over $ 150 million (1) for Pemex” said Ms Olivera.

“This joint declaration by the governments of President Obama and President Calderon is part of an historic trend of North American governments doing the bidding of the oil industry. Greenpeace Mexico and Greenpeace United States will do everything they can to change their governments' policies that destroy the climate and keep North America energy insecure,” said Mr Ash.

 

Note: (1)   BARBOSA, Fabio. Agotamiento de los campos petroleros gigantes y nuevo potencial de hidrocarburos en México. Page. 38.