Emergency Committee: The Well May - Or May Not - Be Capped... But the Oil Catastrophe Continues!

Issued by the Emergency Committee to Stop Gulf Oil Disaster

Deepwater Horizon

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ATTN: News Desk

Headlines may be reading “BP oil gusher capped,” but according to the Emergency Committee to Stop the Gulf Oil Disaster, the crisis spawned by the blowout of BP’s Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico is far from over, and the need to for “all hands on deck” to stop this catastrophe – in all its dimensions – is more needed than ever. This is underscored by late-breaking Sunday news of "a detected seep a distance from the well and undetermined anomalies at the well head." (Washington Post)

"To call the oil spill cap the end of this crisis is akin to calling the killing of Saddam Hussein the end of the war in Iraq,” Emergency Committee Steering Committee member Dan Thelen. “Just as the war still ravages on in Iraq worse than ever, the effects of millions of gallons of oil and dispersants on our precious Gulf and the surrounding communities, not to mention the hundreds of rigs poised to meet the same demise, signal to me that the public must not be deceived. Rather, we must be more organized and vigilant than ever in sending across the resounding message that our Gulf and indeed our world is still in crisis over this oil spill.”

According to official estimates, there are now 100-200 million gallons of crude still in the Gulf, with 80 percent under the surface, much in giant plumes – some stretching 10 miles – thanks to the 2 million gallons of chemical dispersants that have been used. The combination of oil and dispersants makes both more toxic. 500 miles of coastline have been already been affected, and a massive pool of oil and dispersants remains offshore – as hurricane season begins.

“We face an ecological disaster even if the well is capped,” states Barry Thornton, a member of the Committee’s Science Team. “We must deal with all of the oil now on the surface, the oil that has already hit the shore, and the effects of all the oil (plus dispersants) now under the sea, the toxic fumes from burning oil and unburned oil. Whatever happens, everyone needs to do everything possible to focus on the ecological catastrophe that already exists.”

“Existentially it is not over because we still don`t know how poisoned we are or will be, when the marshlands and seacoasts will be safe again, how our people will survive, or whether our distinct communities will survive,” said Steering Committee member Robert Desmarais Sullivan, “though they are composed of people every bit as intelligent as a Wall Street banker or DC lobbyist but with a sense of joie de vivre absent in New York or Washington.”

In a statement before President Obama’s Commission on the disaster on Monday, Steering Committee member Larry Everest declared, “the government and BP have proven unable and unwilling to protect the gulf, protect human health, or even tell the truth,” calling for a “broad, determined, and powerful peoples’ response to stop the disaster.”

The Committee is demanding: 1) Utilize all resources to confront the oil catastrophe; 2) Stop dispersant use now; 3) Full access for independent scientists; 4) No lies, no cover-up, no censorship – full transparency. 5) Protect public health. 6) Stop Gulf oil drilling - compensation for all impacted. 7) Prosecute oil disaster crimes.