U.S. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, released the following statement marking the one-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
"The consequences of the BP Deepwater Horizon spill one year ago today were significant and enduring. Eleven people lost their lives, nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil spilled into the Gulf, and the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands along the Gulf coast were threatened. We must ensure that the ecosystems of the Gulf fully recover from this disaster and that Gulf Coast communities are fairly compensated for the losses incurred by it. But as we attempt to restore what was lost, we must be careful in how we as a nation invest in energy production moving forward.
"Our nation's quest for energy independence is critical to our economic future. But it must also be respectful of the environment and the health and safety of the people and communities needed to develop domestic energy. The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling determined the disaster to be "foreseeable and preventable' and made a series of recommendations that would, if followed, make offshore drilling less risky. Still, when the potential for drilling for oil off Delaware's shores was proposed last year, I vocally opposed it because I believed the risk was too high for our state's ecosystem and economy.
"The question of how we power our future is one of the most critical of our time, with significant implications for our economy, national security, and environment. I believe Delaware's future is in clean, renewable energy sources. We must continue the work of diversifying our energy portfolio and develop the technologies to draw on the energy from all around us, instead of only from the fossil fuels below us."