FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 10, 2010
CONTACT: MARA LEE
WASHINGTON, DC– Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-05) participated in the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Environment hearing on “The BP Oil Spill: Human Exposure and Environmental Fate.” In the hearing, Rep. Matsui emphasized that BP must be held fully accountable for the spill, and that it is their responsibility to pay for its clean-up as well as taking responsibility for the effects of human exposure to the oil, and the far-reaching environmental consequences. Moreover, Rep. Matsui reiterated the fact that this horrible incident serves as an urgent reminder that our nation needs to transition the contents of our energy portfolio and invest in alternative energy sources.
Rep. Matsui’s opening statement, as prepared for delivery, is below:
“In the six weeks since the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, an estimated 500,000 to nearly 1.1 million barrels of crude oil has poured into the Gulf of Mexico. Recent reports that dozens of people have been hospitalized with health problems - including residents in the coastal areas, cleanup workers and those providing relief aid - should raise considerable concerns about the short- and long-term health effects associated with sustained exposure to the chemicals contained in crude oil, which are known carcinogens to humans.
“As we continue our ongoing efforts to stop the spill, hold those responsible accountable, and ensure that the natural resources along the Gulf Coast are protected and restored, it will also be important to have a regional and national endeavor to assess the health impact. It is still unclear as to how this environmental disaster will affect the deep sea ecosystem, but it is critical that we carefully review the previous assessments made by scientists about past oil spills to prepare our continuing response. Beyond all the undersea environmental consequences, the oil is already beginning to seep into the coastal wetlands besieged by overdevelopment, pollution, and the lingering damage of Hurricane Katrina.
“This catastrophe also underscores the need to look beyond oil production and consumption and invest in clean energy alternatives that will help save our health - as well as our environment.”