Deepwater Horizon Anniversary Press Conference

Posted on Apr 17, 2011

At a press conference on April 20th marking the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, Casco Baykeeper Joe Payne spoke about how an oil spill here would decimate the fishing industry and ripple through the entire economy. He cautioned, “We can’t legislate safety. The majority of oil spills (including the Julie N in 1996) are caused by human error. One solution: we can all use less oil.”  Friends of Casco Bay board member Dr. John Wise, Director of the Wise Laboratory of Environmental and Genetic Toxicology at USM, spoke about his research this summer on the effect of oil dispersants on the marine life in the Gulf of Mexico. The impacts of oil dispersants up to this time “are completely unknown. We turned the Gulf into the world’s largest marine toxicology experiment.” He noted, “The oil is still there in the water column and still poisoning the marine life. Preliminary data shows that oil-related pollutants are in the tissues of animals we studied.” The press conference was organized by Ben Hayman of Oceana Maine. Other speakers were Maine First District Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, Dr. Habib Dagher of the University of Maine, an expert on offshore wind energy, and Ted Koffman, Executive Director of Maine Audubon.