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Pelavin: "This report is essential, but words alone will not heal the wounded ecosystems and communities of the Gulf. We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to continue efforts to restore and renew the Gulf Coast and build a safer energy future for all Americans."
Contact: Eric Harris or Rachel Cohen
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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 11, 2010 -- In response to the findings of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, Mark Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center, issued the following statement:
The Oil Spill Commission report presents a powerful message about how we can prevent a disaster on the scale of that which killed 11 men and devastated the environment and economy of the Gulf Coast. We thank the Commissioners for their service and join them in urging our elected officials to hold accountable those responsible for this calamity and prevent future oil disasters.
The recommended measures to strengthen safety and oversight in an industry with a pattern of destructive behavior will help avoid repeat disasters as we work toward the ultimate goal of a safe, clean energy future. We must improve the public's ability to hold corporations accountable through an increased liability cap and the establishment of independent and adequately funded safety and oversight agencies, as the Commission recommends.
We are also encouraged by the recommendation to establish a Regional Citizen's Advisory Council based on the successful Council created in Alaska after the Exxon-Valdez spill. An oversight body with input from local leaders and citizen stakeholders would improve accountability and restore public trust in our energy industry; it is the best way to empower those most impacted by the fossil fuel industry and our best insurance against future accidents.
As people of faith called to protect our environment and our neighbors, especially the most vulnerable among us, we urge our government to enact these reforms to increase environmental and human health and safety - for the Gulf Coast and our entire nation. This report is essential, but words alone will not heal the wounded ecosystems and communities of the Gulf. We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to continue efforts to restore and renew the Gulf Coast and build a safer energy future for all Americans.