02:00 PM

Drilling must be put on hold, Defenders of Wildlife says

Presidential moratorium must be restored

(05/26/2010) -


  • At today's House Natural Resources Committee hearing, Secretary Salazar discussed the Obama administration's review of the Gulf oil disaster.
  • Oil continues to gush unabated into the Gulf of Mexico, harming wildlife and coastal habitat, despite several unsuccessful attempts to cap the flow and mitigate the spread of the slick.
  • In the time since the administration originally called for a temporary halt to new offshore drilling, the Minerals Management Service (MMS) has granted at least seven new drilling permits and five waivers, according to the New York Times (5/24).

WASHINGTON (May 26, 2010) – The following is a statement by Jamie Rappaport Clark, executive vice president for Defenders of Wildlife:

"To ensure the scientific integrity and transparency of MMS' environmental review process, the administration must halt the issuance of new drilling permits, particularly in Alaska, as well as halt action on any permits clouded by the perverse incentive system and the historic culture of corruption surrounding MMS.

"It is unacceptable to move forward with exploratory drilling plans as our nation continues to pour all available resources into attempts to stop the hemorrhaging of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. At a bare minimum, a real timeout should be put in place until the Presidential Commission has finished its essential investigation into the safety of offshore drilling and the ability to prevent any spills in the future. But ultimately, the only way to truly safeguard our coasts is to reinstate the presidential moratorium against new offshore drilling, and extend it to cover all our nation's waters."

Learn more about how Defenders is working to halt offshore drilling in the U.S.

See how Defenders is responding to the Gulf oil disaster.


Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org.



Cat Lazaroff, (202) 772- 3270
Caitlin Leutwiler, (202) 772-3226