Take Action On One-Year Anniversary of Gulf Oil Disaster

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One year ago today the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded off of the coast of Louisiana killing eleven men and igniting the largest oil disaster in U.S. history.

To mark the one-year anniversary, I released Black Tide, and joined Gulf Coast residents harmed by the disaster at BP’s annual shareholder meeting in London and at PowerShift in Washington, DC.

I have shared the statements of those who could not attend these events, including Keith Jones, whose son Gordon died aboard the Deepwater Horizon.

I appeared on Democracy Now!, BBC, NPR and other shows and have written several articles, including “Questions for BP and the oil industry, one year after Deepwater Horizon,” for the Harvard School of Journalism.

As BP spreads its wealth to the GOP, we are spreading the message that the one-year anniversary is THE moment to remind the nation and the world that the Gulf oil disaster is not over and that fundamental change is still needed to ensure such a disaster never occurs again.

Please Join Us!

Support local actions in the Gulf Coast with the Gulf Restoration Network as they Declare: “The Oil is Still Here and So Are We!”
Take Action where you live TODAY with Act Against Extraction Day of Action April 20!

I’m still on tour! Please join me at a city near you, share my events with friends, and keep spreading the word.

Thank you.

Find The Energy Program on Facebook and Twitter.

Gulf Coast activists showed up at BP’s annual shareholder meeting in London today to speak out against the oil company that is responsible for what is known as the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Despite having proxies and all necessary credentials to attend the meeting, almost all of the Gulf Coast residents were denied entry.

One activist, Global Exchange’s Energy Program Director, Antonia Juhasz was one of the few that made it into the meeting and was able to speak on behalf of the Gulf Coast residents who have since had their lives destroyed since last year’s Deepwater Horizon explosion.

The most heated moment in today’s BP annual shareholder meeting occurred when Antonia Juhasz, took to the mic and confronted BP executives, Chairman of the Board Svanberg and the new CEO Bob Dudley about BP’s ongoing harmful actions in the Gulf, including the corporation’s lack of adherence to the moral, legal and financial obligations to the Gulf and its residents.

Antonia had a few words to share after the meeting:

I was shocked that BP denied residents from the Gulf of Mexico access today to their annual shareholder meeting in London. The residents and victims of the Gulf oil disaster were all legitimate proxy holders and had traveled at great cost to be there. They tried to deny my shareholder rights as well by only permitting me entrance as a guest, without the right to speak or vote. I spoke out anyway.

I demanded an immediate response to BP’s denying the voice of those that had traveled from the Gulf to tell the truth about what has really been happening to their health, livelihoods and home. I also demanded a response to the failure of the corporation to provide for the safety of its deep water operations and read a statement that Keith Jones, whose son, Gordon Jones, was killed when the Deepwater Horizon exploded, gave to me and asked me to read.

The Gulf Coast Fund, the organization that sponsored the residents’ travel to London released a statement of their own about the five Gulf residents that were denied entry. Tracy Kuhns, Director of Louisiana Bayoukeeper spoke out,

“We aren’t here to cause trouble. We came to deliver the message that BP needs to take responsibility for the drilling disaster. The oil is not gone… BP must be held accountable.”

Stay tuned to Global Exchange’s page on the BP Disaster for news updates about the shareholder meeting and Antonia Juhasz’ upcoming book, Black Tide: the Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill, set to be released a few days before the one-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion.

In the meantime, you can see a clip of Antonia telling the BBC in front of the BP shareholder meeting that the ‘Gulf spill is not resolved’.

Coverage from The Independent:

“Protesters dragged from BP annual meeting,” April 14, 2011.

The Guardian:

“Protesters target BP annual meeting,” April 14, 2011.

More on the Energy Program site where you can also read statements by Gulf Coast residents intended to be shared with BP shareholders and executives.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Photographer: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The following post is cross-listed on the Chevron Program blog:

It’s official; the White House announced earlier today that the moratorium on deep water drilling which was not set to expire until November 30th is now being lifted. The announcement was made by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar during a conference call with reporters Tuesday afternoon. Salazar explained:
“We have made and continue to make significant progress in reducing the risks associated with deepwater drilling” and therefore, “I have decided that it is now appropriate to lift the suspension on deepwater drilling for those operators that are able to clear the higher bar that we have set.”

Global Exchange is deeply disappointed by this decision to prematurely lift the ban. Antonia Juhasz, Global Exchange Energy Program Director, explained in a recent article:

IT SHOULD BE BLATANTLY CLEAR at this stage of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy that we are witnessing the failure of an entire system, rather than of one operator. Systemic solutions are therefore required. One obvious first step is a permanent moratorium on all offshore drilling—a model of energy extraction which the industry is unable to safely perform and the government is unable to adequately regulate.

Upon hearing the news about the drilling ban being lifted, Antonia had this to say (while in Alabama via phone, researching for her new book on the Gulf oil disaster:)

One very positive step of the Obama administration was putting in place a deeply needed moratorium on deep water drilling, but it seems that election year politics have lead to a quid pro quo in which the administration implemented extremely limited regulations on offshore drilling in exchange for an early lifting of the moratorium.

Environmental groups have been quick to respond to today’s announcement.

Sierra Club issued a press release on their website stating “The BP disaster was a wake up call, but our leaders keep hitting the snooze button.” Greenpeace included a link to “Tell Congress: Now New Drilling. Period” along with photos of their protest today.

The moratorium on deep water drilling was originally imposed on May 27th before a revised ban was enacted on July 12th and set to expire November 30th.

If you’re concerned about the ramifications of this early ban lifting, here are a few ways to take action and make your voice heard:
Tell Congress No New Drilling: Visit Greenpeace for an easy-to-fill-out form.
Call or email the White House: White House phone #s and email are here.

Oiled GrassAntonia Juhasz, Director of Global Exchange’s Energy Program was interviewed by Kevin Danaher, Global Exchange Co-Founder about the impacts of BP oil spill and what it means for our economy. Following her fifth trip to the Gulf Coast Juhasz reported what is happening in the Gulf Coast; how the oil spill affected the economy and the local communities; how Washington, DC and BP are dealing with the situation; and what the media are saying.

Antonia spent weeks in the region interviewing local people and researching for her new book. She wrote two articles to Huffington Post and was interviewed by Democracy Now! journalist Amy Goodman about the effects of the BP oil spill. She’s been working extensively to report on the oil spill and greatly increased the knowledge of those who participated on this webinar.

If you missed the opportunity to hear those two activists/intellectuals, the recording of the webinar is now available for purchase, for only $5, at http://bit.ly/ciVOBQ

For other Global Exchange’s webinar visit: second Green Careers webinar and first Green Careers webinar.

If you would like to know more about Antonia Juhasz background, visit: http://www.tyrannyofoil.org/article.php?id=43
Follow Antonia on Twitter and Facebook

If you would like to know more about Dr. Kevin Danaher’s background, visit: www.globalexchange.org/getInvolved/speakers/56.html
Follow Kevin on Twitter and Facebook