Furthermore, plans for more offshore drilling, such as Exxon Mobil’s development of the Julia oil field in the Gulf of Mexico, pose a continuing and growing danger to the region and are undermining promised efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
“One of the biggest sources of toxicity has been Corexit, a product designed to disperse oil that was deployed by BP in huge quantities to contain the 2010 Gulf disaster. Corexit increases oil toxicity by 52 times. It’s carcinogenic, disrupts endocrine production, and causes liver and kidney failure, among many other short- and long-term effects. It’s extremely dangerous to human as well as coastal and marine life, but the EPA has taken inadequate action to stop its use,” said Anita Stewart, co-chair of the Green Party of Florida and online journalist.
“The economics of the Gulf Region has been decimated, with fishers out of work, businesses closed, people sick, homes and healthcare lost. Shrimp and oyster populations are collapsing,” added Ms. Stewart.
BP has allegedly continued to use Corexit as late as August 2012 near shore and inland waters from Florida to Louisiana. For more information on continuing health problems (“BP Syndrome” and “Gulf Coast Syndrome”) caused by the oil spill and use of Corexit, see an April 29, 2013 report from the Government Accountability Project.
Greens expressed dismay over the Obama Administration’s lip service about fighting climate change while promoting an expansion of domestic fossil-fuel production. The Green Party has strongly opposed hydrofracking, mountaintop detonation mining, and construction of the tarsands pipelines, as well as offshore drilling.
State Green Parties have opposed proposals to expand drilling into Atlantic coastal waters. Although the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management does not include the Atlantic for offshore drilling or exploration, Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina recently announced such a plan.
“Offshore drilling should be halted now. We must replace petroleum with clean renewable sources of energy. The legacy of offshore drilling in the Gulf includes destruction of beaches, contaminated marine life, and loss of jobs and livelihoods from Florida to Louisiana. Developing new energy technologies and conversion to their use can create millions of new jobs in these states,” said Jan Hillegas, chair of the Green Party of Mississippi.
The “Green New Deal” promoted by 2012 Green presidential nominee Jill Stein sets forth a plan to jumpstart the economy and curb the advance of global climate disruption by generating millions of jobs in alternative energy and conservation.
“We oppose further oil and gas drilling or exploration on our nation’s outer continental shelf, on our public lands, in the Rocky Mountains, and under the Great Lakes…. Green Solutions: Strengthen right-to-know laws so that everyone can discover what toxic or potentially toxic chemicals are used and released in their communities…. Protect 40% of the world’s oceans as marine preserves, especially near shore coastal habitats. Determine protected zones through a democratic process involving all stakeholders. Ban offshore oil drilling. Ban the siting of liquefied natural gas facilities off the U.S. coast.” (Green Party Platform)
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