Trenton – This morning, at around 10:30 a.m. EST, another rig exploded into the Gulf of Mexico. According to Coast Guard reports, the accident took place 80 miles off the coast of Louisiana on the Vermilion rig 380, which is owned by Houston-based Mariner Energy. Thirteen workers were on the rig at the time and all are reported to be safe, although one worker is reported to have injuries. Doug O’Malley, field director for Environment New Jersey, released the following statement:
“After the summer of the spill, it is stunning to hear of yet another rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. President Obama should need no further wake-up call to permanently ban new off-shore drilling. He should radically strengthen oversight of the existing offshore oil industry to prevent more accidents like the one today, but also permanently protect the coasts where we don’t drill now. While everyone on the Shore keeps their fingers crossed about Hurricane Earl, we shouldn’t have to worry about a future offshore drilling disaster off the Atlantic Coast.”
“This summer we have seen too-frequent oil spills and accidents across the U.S. The evidence is clear that oil drilling is too dirty and too dangerous. In April, BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and caused a 200 million gallon oil spill that continues to devastate the Gulf coast, its people and wildlife. In July, a tugboat hit an abandoned oil well off Louisiana that sprayed oil and gas 100 feet into the air. That same month there was a huge oil pipeline break in Michigan that polluted the Kalamazoo River in Michigan for dozens of miles.
“Our dependence on oil is taking too great a toll on our environment and our economy. It’s time to end our dependence on oil by harnessing American ingenuity to make cleaner cars and trucks and invest in public transit and walkable communities.”