Looking to the Future: Lessons in Prevention, Response, and Restoration from the Gulf Oil Spill, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, United States Senate, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, First Session, July 20, 2011   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the opening statement of Mark Begich: "On July 15, 2010, just over a year ago, BP finally succeeded in stemming the seemingly never-ending flow of oil of the Deepwater Horizon spill. When the well was capped, the people of the Gulf Coast and people across the country, who were mesmerized by the video of the subsea gusher; we were finally able to breathe a collective sigh of relief. Yet, capping the Macondo well was not the end of this tragedy. We're still understanding and accounting for its costs--the cost to the environment, the cost to the individual people in the Gulf communities, and the cost to their economies. Over 200 million gallons of oil spewed out into the Gulf for nearly 3 months, becoming the largest accidental marine oil spill in history. The long term impacts to the wildlife and ecosystems of the Gulf, while still ill-defined, are sure to be long-lasting. Eleven men lost their lives in the explosion that preceded the blowout. Many other lives and livelihoods were, and continue to be, upended by the spill. Alaskans sympathize with the Gulf and its plight. We've lived through this before. In 1989, Alaska suffered the Exxon Valdez disaster, then the largest marine oil spill this country had faced. More than 20 years later, Alaskans are still dealing with the aftermath. The environmental impacts are still being monitored and assessed in the waters of the Prince William Sound. Affected Alaskans, many who waited decades before seeing justice in the courts, still feel the impacts of the trauma which the spill caused within their communities. While the effects of both spills are tragic, the greatest tragedy of both could and should have been avoided. In each case the responsible parties cut corners and took unnecessary risks for the promise of greater profits." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Mark Begich, Roger F. Wicker, Bill Nelson, Frank R. Lautenberg, Maria Cantwell, Marco Rubio, Paul F. Zukunft, David M. Kennedy, Grover C. Robinson, R. Eugene Turner, Erik Milito, Jim Ayers, and John D. Rockefeller IV.

Report Number:
S. Hrg. 112-249; Senate Hearing 112-249
Public Domain
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