11/08/2010 - The White House-appointed panel charged with probing the Gulf of Mexico spill disaster holds the only public hearing on its findings today, as green groups launch a last-ditch push aimed at getting Congress to crack down on offshore drilling in a lame-duck session.
Environmental groups still aren’t giving up. Several organizations kick off a drilling-reform campaign this week timed to dovetail with the publicity from the spill commission’s hearing – and the last week lawmakers are in their home districts before returning to Washington. The Pew Environment Group, Ocean Conservancy, Defenders of Wildlife and National Audubon Society are running a print ad campaign emphasizing the economic impact of the spill on Gulf coast communities. The ad, which reads “Mission: Not Accomplished” is set to run in The Miami Herald, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss., and Nashville's Tennessean. On Wednesday, the day after the presidential panel completes its hearings, the Pew Environment Group will unveil a report highlighting the likelihood and dangers of such a spill in Arctic waters, as part of an effort to press Congress to prevent drilling from going forward off the coast of Alaska.
"We’re really hoping the Senate will find space on its schedule. They can’t afford not to do it,” said Marilyn Heiman, director of offshore energy reform policy for the Pew Environment Group. “For them to say there’s not enough time to make sure that we don’t repeat the mistakes that happened in the Gulf would be very detrimental to the people who live in the Gulf and people who live anywhere there will be offshore drilling. If you just enact regulations, but don’t put it in legislation, it can be undone by a future Congress.”
Read the entire article High Drama Expected at Gulf Spill Hearing on the National Journal's Web site.
The Pew Environment Group’s offshore energy reform work is now a part of Pew’s Arctic Ocean Program.