12 October 2010 Deepwater drilling moratorium lifted prematurely, threats to wildlife left unaddressed Posted by: Caitlin Leutwiler | 1 comment | Share: Oiled Pelican (Copyright AP / Charlie Riedel) The Obama administration today lifted its moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, more than a month before the scheduled end date. The administration has not adequately addressed failures to comply with environmental laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Endangered Species Act. Richard Charter, offshore drilling expert and senior policy advisor for Defenders of Wildlife said, “It is premature to lift the deepwater drilling moratorium in the Gulf. Although the increased safety and spill response requirements imposed by Interior Secretary Salazar are important, there are still no new measures in place to protect species such as endangered sea turtles and sperm whales, and imperiled bluefin tuna.” “Before Secretary Salazar approves any applications to resume drilling, potentially opening the Gulf up to future environmental disasters, he must ensure that the potential impacts on wildlife have been fully evaluated and strong measures are in place to protect them.” “Although the increased safety and spill response requirements imposed by Interior Secretary Salazar are important, there are still no new measures in place to protect species such as endangered sea turtles and sperm whales, and imperiled bluefin tuna.” “The potential resumption of deepwater drilling in the Gulf makes it increasingly critical for Congress to pass legislation that ensures safer operations in any water depth, provides better spill response, lifts the grossly inadequate liability cap currently in place and secures funding for restoration efforts in the Gulf. The Obama administration should push the Senate to act and remain steadfast in its efforts to ensure that there will be no repeats of last summer’s disaster in the Gulf.” Read more about the lifting of the moratorium. Ask your Senators to pass comprehensive legislation to promote clean energy. One Response to “Deepwater drilling moratorium lifted prematurely, threats to wildlife left unaddressed” Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in It’s Time to Act for Right Whales Years after they agreed to expand critical habitat for endangered North Atlantic right whales, we’re still waiting on NMFS to follow through. So we took to the courts to get this much-needed protection in place. How Should We Honor Earth Day? America has many worldwide firsts in conservation: we were the first nation to establish a national park, the first to create a national wildlife refuge, the first to approve a law protecting endangered species and the first to create a national day dedicated to conservation, Earth Day. But today, we are experiencing another period of crisis in America’s commitment to conservation. When did conservation become a polarizing political issue, when it has been, for the past century, a defining characteristic of American values and the American spirit? Ecological Insults and Injuries Revealed Four Years after Deepwater Horizon Four years after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, we’re beginning to see the full scope of how this ecological disaster is impacting our wildlife on land, air and sea.