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 Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Helicopter gunning kills 23 wolves in Idaho; Urge Secretary Jewell to abandon gray wolf delisting proposal — Call your representative by March 14; Washington wildlife agency urged to end support for abolishing federal wolf protections; The latest on Governor Otter’s wolf control board. 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?