03 September 2010 Expert Richard Charter says: Too soon to tell impacts of explosion Posted by: Richard Charter | Leave a comment | Share: Last night, Canadian TV’s news staff got on the phone with Richard Charter, offshore drilling expert and senior policy adviser at Defenders of Wildlife, to hear what he had to say about the explosion of the Vermilion 380, an offshore drilling platform owned by Mariner Energy of Houston. After monitoring the aftermath of the explosion almost 100 miles south of Louisiana, Richard said, “Everyone is relieved that 13 workers were rescued safely from the waters, but in terms of environmental consequences it’s too early to tell.” He told CTV of the company that owned the rig, “Mariner Energy since 2006 has had nine reported incidents in the Gulf of Mexico, including four fires and one blowout. There are these smaller events consistently throughout the Gulf of Mexico that we don’t usually hear about because they don’t occur – by coincidence – on the same day, today, that BP experts were removing the capping stack from the Deepwater Horizon Macondo well.” The current moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico would not have affected this rig, drilling at only 340 feet. Richard said, “The event today of course highlights that there are inherent risks of accidents in offshore drilling activities in any water depth.” “We need to either make this activity safe or decide there are going to be parts of hte planet that are too environmentally sensitive to go ahead with high risk drilling – the Arctic is of course one of them. We’re getting some hard lessons as a society here.” See the full interview here. What you can do: Write a letter to the editor. The House of Representatives has passed legislation to help protect our wildlife by improving safety and accountability in offshore drilling, but the Senate has yet to act. Help encourage your senators to act by writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Support our work. Your tax-deductible donation will help us protect sea turtles and other wildlife from the dangers of reckless offshore drilling. Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Two Too Many Development Projects in the Ivanpah Valley While these projects most definitely directly impact a species that has been identified as threatened and is dependent on the habitat where they would be built, Silver State South and Stateline’s approval is most troubling for a bigger reason. You see, this isn’t just an issue for the Ivanpah Valley. Developers and agencies need to be conscious of how and where they plan energy projects all across the country. They need to look at renewable energy planning with a landscape-wide lens, understanding that building in the right places and making an effort to minimize environmental impacts from the start are essential. California’s Rim Fire: Opportunities Rise from the Ashes After California’s devastating Rim Fire, will officials take the opportunity to give nature a chance to fully recover? What Montana Isn’t Saying: Why Wild Bison Aren’t Welcome in the State Montana is rounding up wild bison as they leave Yellowstone National Park and shipping them to slaughter. But why?