Statement by Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch
“Yesterday, the U.S. government released a report in part faulting BP’s cost cutting measures for the safety hazards that led to the Deepwater Horizon explosion last year. This is further proof that the European Parliament missed a crucial opportunity to safeguard European waters Wednesday when it voted against supporting a moratorium on offshore deep sea drilling until more stringent EU legislation is in place.
“While we welcomed the fact that the European Parliament asked for full liability of offshore gas and oil companies and mandatory insurance to cover all costs relating to an accident, it is not sufficient. Regulation of deepwater drilling failed, and continues to fail, when it comes to ensuring safety. Companies are not investing enough in safety technology, focusing instead on drilling deeper in high-risk zones.
“The major oil companies in the U.S.—Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, Shell and Chevron—earned $289 billion dollars in profits over the last three years, and spent $39 billion in the exploration of new wells—but spent only $20 million dollars a year on research and development devoted to safety. The EU is failing to make sure that the development of safety technology is given as much priority as the development of drilling technology.
“The European Parliament also failed to protect the Artic and sensitive regions in its report. With big companies vying for who gets to drill there first, Is the EU ready to allow companies who prioritize profit over safety to drill in these areas?”
Contact: Gabriella Zanzanaini, +32 488409662, [email protected]
Food & Water Europe is the European program of Food & Water Watch, a nonprofit consumer organization based in the United States that works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, afford- able, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.