Resources for Discussions on BP Oil Spill

Dear GGJ Member groups,

The Global Well-being Working Group wanted to send out some materials on the recent BP oil spill in the Gulf Coast, as resources for any GGJ groups who may be looking for ways to talk about this with your members or connect it to your work.  Below you'll find some online resources from Advocates for Environmental Human Rights (an environmental justice group based in New Orleans; a few other national groups' material on the oil spill (including some en español); some links to articles and videos about the oil spill; resources on false solutions to climate change (including REDD); and discussion questions that we put together as a way to start some conversations within your organization. We hope this may be useful to you, and invite you to respond with any other resources you have found helpful.

In Solidarity,

Cassandra (for IEN) and Sara (DARE), for the GGJ Global Well-Being Working Group

1.  Resources from Advocates for Environmental Human Rights (based in New Orleans - many of you may know Monique Hardin or Michelle Roberts, who work for AEHR, and some GGJ delegates connected with in Cochabamba): On their website - http://www.ehumanrights.org/ - you can find lots of helpful information, including:

  • The organization's Statement on the Oil Drilling Disaster , 
  • AEHR's Questions to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson ,
  • AEHR's 2003 report "What the Oil and Chemical Industries Fear" ;
  • Monique Hardin's recent Op-Ed "Oil Spill Puts People of Color on Slippery Slope" 
  • Demands: "AEHR is urging President Obama to take the following action to protect Gulf Coast communities now:
    • require BP to pay on an expedited basis for the cost of clean up and the damages suffered by fishing and shrimping communities;
    • provide the resources necessary for state and federal wildlife and fisheries agencies to effectively monitor the impacts of the BP oil drilling disaster on marine wildlife;
    • provide the resources necessary for state and federal environmental agencies to conduct air monitoring of the burning of BP’s oil drilling disaster and assess the public health impacts of toxic emissions from the burning;
    • investigate the cause of the BP oil drilling disaster;
    • make the information and data collected from the environmental monitoring and the investigation available to the public;
    • prepare an independent determination of the effectiveness of the disaster preparedness equipment and plans at all existing deep water oil exploration and drilling sites
    • suspend all pending and proposed offshore oil leases;
    • reform oil drilling leases and permitting with legal standards for disaster prevention, mitigation, and response for deep water oil exploration and drilling operations;
    • ensure the recovery of people and communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina and subsequent storms that are in keeping with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement;
    • expedite adequate funds and resources to restore the erosion of coastal areas bordering the Gulf of Mexico; and
    • agree to an international limit on carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change to levels that are at or below 350 parts per million with mechanisms for enforcement and accountability."

2.  Resources from a few National Groups:

3.  Articles and Videos - There's a whole lot out there - we just picked a few:


4a.  General Info on False Solutions to Climate Change

4b.  Info on REDD – Privatizing Forests for Carbon Trading

(BP participates in the biggest REDD-type forest carbon offset project in the world. Environmental and social destruction like the oil spill could soon be falsely “compensated” with carbon trading projects that violate the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.   http://www.ienearth.org/REDD/index.html#12  (see section on REDD and Oil companies)

 5.  Questions for Discussion (We offer these as some questions that may be useful if you want to start a discussion on the BP oil spill within your organization.)

  • There was a protest in DC with slogans: "SEIZE BP assets." Why is this an important response - why do we need to hold BP accountable, and to what are they (and possibly Halliburton) accountable for? 
  • What is our government's historic relation to oil companies? Why is it that the most recent proposed Senate climate change bill (Kerry-Lieberman) allows for new offshore drilling in the Gulf Coast, given the extent of this disaster?
  • How do oil companies contribute to climate change? What are false solutions to climate change, and how do oil companies promote them?  
  • Is there a connection between the repression against immigrants and the oil spill/ corporate environmental and climate destruction or negligence?
  • What do Gulf Coast communities affected by the oil spill in the USA and Mexico have in common with communities in the Global South whose human rights are violated by carbon offset projects?
  • What EJ strategies could be created to unite fence line communities of fossil fuel extraction, processing and pollution with communities suffering from the offset projects that the very same oil and mining companies use to buy their way out of reducing emissions at source and transitioning to green energy?

We hope these resources are useful.  Please feel free to respond with any other resources or questions you have found useful in your organizations.  Thanks so much!