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Ocean Conservancy’s Executive Vice President Dennis Takahashi-Kelso’s Statement on the Temporary Capping of the BP Deepwater Horizon Well

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dennis Takahashi-Kelso, Ocean Conservancy's Executive Vice President, issued the following statement in response to the announcement that BP had capped the well and for the time being the oil has ceased to flow:

"Yesterday I was on the water in Bay Jimmy, Louisiana, viewing the devastation this tragedy has inflicted on the Gulf ecosystem. The impacts of BP's disaster will be felt for decades."

"After some eighty-seven days, news that oil has stopped gushing into the ocean is an enormous relief. We will await the full results of integrity tests to learn if the Macondo well will remain shut, but today's developments are a very positive step forward.

"Yesterday I was on the water in Bay Jimmy, Louisiana, viewing the devastation this tragedy has inflicted on the Gulf ecosystem. The impacts of BP's disaster will be felt for decades.

"BP's obligations in the Gulf of Mexico do not end with the flow of oil: they are only just beginning. The President must be relentless in ensuring that BP does not walk away from the communities of the Gulf, or the fragile ocean ecosystem that has come under assault from tens of millions of gallons of oil. BP must be held to account year after year after year for the long-term consequences of this tragedy.

"The challenge we now face is to restore and enhance the Gulf ecosystem and make the people affected by the spill whole. Ocean Conservancy will continue its longstanding commitment to the Gulf, and will work with local communities to achieve that goal."

Takahashi-Kelso was Alaska Commissioner of Environmental Conservation at the time of the Exxon Valdez spill. A few hours after the Valdez ran aground, Takahashi-Kelso boarded the tanker to assess the environmental impact and began enforcing clean-up standards. For the next two years, he worked in the spill area, in the state legislature, and in Congress to strengthen Alaska's environmental laws and to advocate passage of the federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

Ocean Conservancy is the world's foremost advocate for the oceans. Through science-based advocacy, research, and public education, we inform, inspire and empower people to speak and act for the oceans. Ocean Conservancy is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has offices in Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific, with support from more than half a million members and volunteers. To learn more about Ocean Conservancy visit www.oceanconservancy.org

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