– Dennis Takahashi-Kelso is executive vice president of Ocean Conservancy and was Alaska Commissioner of Environmental Conservation at the time of the Exxon Valdez spill. Jim Ayers is vice president and senior adviser at Oceana and was executive director of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council. Any views expressed here are their own. –
As we are seeing each day, the Deepwater Horizon oil platform blowout in America’s Gulf coast is a human and environmental tragedy.
The oil platform was drilling an exploratory well for British Petroleum in the Gulf of Mexico when there was a blowout, resulting in the loss of 11 workers’ lives and uncontrolled releases of fuel and crude oil.
The tragic results occurred despite some of the best technology and spill response capabilities in the world, including 32 spill-response vessels and skimming capacity of more than 171,000 barrels per day, among many other advances and planning systems.
In a few short months, Royal Dutch Shell is set to begin exploratory drilling in the Arctic—another rich and fragile region.