Eva Hernandez with Sierra Club - the Texas Green Report

nebraskaboomOil and Offshore

Nov 8, 2013 (4 years ago)

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Statement of Eva Hernandez, Sierra Club

at

One
-
Year M
emorial of BP Oil Disaster


Austin, Texas, April 20, 2011

One year ago today, the BP
-
Horizon explosion and fire caused the loss of 11 workers’ lives
and possibly the worst oil spill disaster in world history.
The disaster flooded the waters of
the Gulf of Mexico with almost 5 million barrels or about 260 million

gallons of oil. The oil
was estimated to have covered an area of somewhere in the range between 2,500 to
68,000 square miles.

One year after the largest oil spill in American history, Big Oil continues to rake in record
profits, Congress has still not act
ed to hold BP accountable and thousands of working
families and small business owners in the Gulf are still struggling to recover.


This isn’t really a funeral. We are here to remember and appreciate the men whose lives
were lost and to remember the envi
ronmental and economic damage done.

Only by remembering can we have the complete awareness needed to set the

two
-
fold
Action Plan we need:



To restore the Gulf environment and economies., and



To transition Texas beyond oil to safer and more sustainable
transportation

solutions.


Sierra Club’s Main Message


The most important message that Sierra Club would like for you to take away from this
event is that we must recognize how dangerous offshore drilling is and we must move
beyond oil.


Together with pi
ping dirty tar sands oil from Canada,
and drilling in the pristine Arctic
wilderness,
offshore drilling is a desperate act to extract t
he hardest to reach oil. It’s too
dangerous and risky. And it

won’t supply enough to continue running our economy on oil

anyway.

The emissions from burning gas in our vehicles are resulting in high levels of dangerous and
unhealthy ground
-
level ozone smog that is causing asthma in ou
r children, elders, and
people who are already sick
--

our most vulnerable people.

We have
to make the

change

now

to sustainable transportation solutions. These include:



M
ass transit including buses and trains;



F
uel efficient vehicles

and Electric vehicles;



Bicycling and walking to where we want to go;



Land use and planning that
locates work
places near homes;



Telecommu
ting


in other words
,

working more from home or nearby;



A clean energy powered grid


from more and more wind and solar power
.
We can fuel those buses, trains, and cars with the power of the sun.

The only way to truly protect
our communities and our oceans is to end Big Oil’s
stranglehold on our economy and break our addiction to oil. Instead of chasing dirty, dead
-
end fossil fuels, we should be investing in 21
st

Century transportation solutions like smarter,
more fuel
-
efficien
t cars and trucks, electric vehicles and mass transit.

The time i
s now for leadership from Congress, state and local governments


the
restoration of the Gulf, the health of our economy and the safety of all Americans depends
on it.

Thank you.