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Eco-Alert: Citizen involvement in future accountability in the Gulf after BP disaster

December 2, 2010

(This alert is re-posted from Public Citizen.)

The Oil Spill Commission will begin deliberations this week on its final report and recommendations, due to be released on January 11.

Please join Public Citizen in advocating for strong citizen participation in overseeing oil and gas activities in the Gulf.

Sign our petition urging the Commission to recommend the establishment of Regional Citizens’ Advisory Councils.

After the Exxon Valdez spill, Congress set up Regional Citizens’ Advisory Councils for Prince William Sound and Cook Inlet in the State of Alaska. These Councils resulted in improved environmental safeguards and substantially safer and more reliable transportation and spill response capabilities in Alaska.

The citizens of the Gulf Coast deserve the same structure to monitor and provide recommendations for exploration, development, production, coastal refining and transportation of oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico and for prevention, response and restoration measures related to the social, economic, health and environmental impacts of an incident that could result in a significant oil or gas release into the Gulf.

Sign the Gulf Coast Citizens’ Advisory Councils Petition to support coastal communities’ role in protecting their environment and securing their livelihoods.

Lax government oversight contributed to the BP oil spill disaster, but increased government regulation alone cannot prevent future accidents. A council of Gulf Coast citizens—including representatives of commercial and charter fishing, the tourism industry, indigenous and socially vulnerable populations, conservationists and municipal governments—with knowledge of their communities and a direct interest in promoting safer oil and gas operations is needed.

Thank you for your continued support on this issue. The oil has stopped flowing from the well, but there is still much that needs to be done to make the Gulf and its communities whole again. The establishment of Regional Citizens’ Advisory Councils will be a significant step toward that end.



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