It’s been 14 years since the longest-lasting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico began after a hurricane destroyed an oil rig — and now we finally know its magnitude. Last week, it was reported that 28 mangled underwater wells have been releasing up to 4,500 gallons of oil per day into waters off the coast of Louisiana. That means as many as 22 million gallons of oil could have been released by this spill.
Oil spills have catastrophic impacts on the health of fish, birds, and marine mammals, as well as the strength of coastal economies that heavily rely on tourism. But meanwhile, the company responsible for the massive Gulf spill, Taylor Energy, claimed the leak wasn’t amounting to more than three or four gallons of released oil per day — while fighting a federal order requiring the company to remedy the situation.
This is just another example that confirms what we already know: America needs to rapidly transition away from fossil fuel-based energy, and stop oil and natural gas drilling and extraction immediately. That’s why I’ve been advocating for policies that would help America do just that — by putting Arctic waters off limits to oil drilling, permanently banning offshore drilling in federal waters off of the coast of Oregon, Washington, and California, and introducing the first ever federal legislation to protect our public lands and keep fossil fuels in the ground long before it was a presidential platform.
These policies are one critical step of many we’re going to need to take to tackle the fossil fuels that are driving our climate crisis. In addition, I’ve introduced legislation to completely transition to zero emissions vehicles, and make it possible for millions of federal employees to divest from fossil fuel corporations.
It’s clear that the status quo — drilling and burning fossil fuels like there’s no tomorrow — isn’t going to cut it if we want to pass on a livable planet to our children. Please know that I’m committed to making a real change, so our planet is livable for generations to come.