News Release

* New Movie Highlights Continued BP Gulf Crisis * More Offshore Oil-Drilling


AP reports today in “BP Wants U.S. Probes Barred from Oil Spill Lawsuits” that “The companies involved in the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history are trying to prevent government investigations blaming them for the disaster from being used against them by the people and businesses who are suing them.”

JOSH TICKELL, REBECCA HARRELL TICKELL, via Nicole Landers, nicole at
Josh Tickell and Rebecca Harrell Tickell, filmmakers who are releasing their latest documentary feature film this week exclusively in Los Angeles starting this Friday, 11/11/11, “The Big Fix.” Recently called by the New Orleans Times-Picayune: “An explosive, attention-demanding, feature-length film focusing on the environmental fallout of the BP oil spill.”

They had a news conference this morning in Los Angeles with Tim Robbins, the award-winning actor and executive producer of “The Big Fix,” Margaret Bryne Curole, a former commercial Gulf shrimper with a 20-year career, Jean Michel Cousteau, founder of Oceans Future Society (and son of Jacques Cousteau, the famed explorer) and others. The trailer and other information on “The Big Fix” .

HUGH KAUFMAN, hughbkaufman at
A noted expert at the Environmental Protection Agency, Kaufman is featured in “The Big Fix.” He said today: “Last year many working-level scientists at the EPA — and others not on oil company payroll — were concerned that the handling of the spill, especially the use of toxic dispersants, would cause major health effects on marine life and the public. Now we are seeing marine life dying and people suffering, even dying. Just like after the 9/11 environmental fallout, there’s no program to help alleviate the suffering. And just like after 9/11, responders were not allowed to wear respirators because it would ‘look bad.'”

ABC News is reporting “White House Expands Off-Shore Drilling.”

TYSON SLOCUM, via Barbara Holzer, bholzer at
Director, Public Citizen’s Energy Program, Slocum said today: “The Department of the Interior’s five-year offshore oil-drilling plan, announced today, is bad news for the environment and oil workers. Environmentalists and workplace safety advocates who reasonably anticipated regulatory reform of the oil industry in advance of any new offshore oil-drilling policy are deeply disappointed. According to the Obama administration, new areas in the Gulf of Mexico will be explored and drilled, as will the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in the Arctic Ocean and the Cook Inlet off the coast of Alaska.

“This plan was made in the absence of new safety rules designed to protect workers and the environment. We haven’t updated offshore drilling laws since 1978 – well before we had a deepwater or robust arctic drilling industry. We already know what happens when the oil industry is inadequately regulated. For 87 days in 2010, the nation watched helplessly as millions of barrels of oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico after an explosion rocked the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and killed 11 workers. Taxpayers remain responsible for major spills, because current law caps spill liability for oil companies at $75 million. …

“With DOI’s announcement, it is clear that the administration is willing to override the serious safety concerns raised by its own oil spill commission formed in response to the BP oil disaster. It is unconscionable that new offshore oil drilling will be undertaken without any congressional reform of drilling rules and safety regulation. Congress should enact reform now. Today’s move will only raise the liability exposure for drillers and, ultimately, the financial obligation that always falls to taxpayers.”

Background on BP disaster:

Local Louisiana paper Houma Today reports: “Dead dolphins have washed ashore in the hundreds along the central Gulf Coast, prompting federal officials to launch an open-ended investigation.”

See: “Health concerns persist over Gulf coast oil spill.”

Obama administration’s scientists admit alarm over chemicals