Industry out of US Energy Future

July 6, 2010

Greenpeace today welcomed President Obama’s sensible and encouraging first step in ensuring that the BP oil spill disaster can never happen again - but the “never” will only last for the next six months while his commission reaches a conclusion. The President went some way towards exposing the root cause of this disaster in highlighting the oil industry’s “cozy and sometimes corrupt relationship” with government agencies responsible.

"As long as we continue to let oil companies like BP and Shell bully politicians, write our energy laws and bribe regulators, we will remain addicted to their dirty and dangerous fossil fuels.  President Obama should cut the polluter lobbyists out of the debate so we can finally move toward a clean energy revolution that is good for the country, not just for corporations," said John Hocevar, Greenpeace oceans campaign director.

"The President's six month suspensions of new drilling are a welcome reprieve for the communities and animals that rely on those pristine waters, but we need a permanent ban on all new offshore drilling, not just in the Arctic but in all US waters. A ban on all new oil drilling is the only way to avoid another spill disaster," said Hocevar.

With only three percent of global reserves the US consumes 25 percent of the world's oil. The US will never drill its way to energy independence or energy security. In contrast, clean energy can deliver both. As the Greenpeace Advanced Energy [R]evolution Scenario (to be launched in June 2010) shows it is possible to reduce US oil demand by 85 percent, and global demand by nearly 70 percent, by 2050.

"Americans will be left behind the rest of the world if President Obama continues to allow big industry to determine this country's energy policy. It is abundantly clear that industry cannot be trusted to protect us from oil spills, let alone protecting our energy future," said Hocevar. "Until President Obama gets over the notion 'we need the oil', the nation will never get over our addiction to fossil fuels."

On Monday, seven Greenpeace activists used oil from Gulf oil disaster to paint the message "Arctic Next?" on the bridge of a ship scheduled to depart Port Fourchon, Louisiana to support the Frontier Discoverer for Shell's planned drilling operations.  The activists are facing felony charges for the peaceful protest, while not a single BP executive has been charged for the devastation they have wrought on the Gulf of Mexico and the people and animals that depend on it.

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Other contacts: Joe Smyth, Greenpeace Media Officer, 831-566-5647, Molly Dorozenski, Greenpeace Media Officer, 917-864-3724

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