She married into a family of scheming oil barons on the television series Dallas, but in real life Victoria Principal is calling for tougher oil drilling regulations while supporting organizations working to prevent another environmental catastrophe like BP’s Gulf oil spill from occurring again. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Oceana, two groups that oppose an expansion of offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic, recently announced that Ms. Principal made “extremely generous six-figure donations” to their organizations.
“Waiting until a disaster happens is waiting until it’s too late,” Ms. Principal said Tuesday in an announcement. “The strategy and campaign must begin now, in order to achieve success and prevent further devastation from increased offshore drilling and by imposing tougher standards and having improved safeguards firmly in place,” Principal said. “I hope others will join me at this crucial juncture in the future of our oceans and our planet.”
NRDC and Oceana said they have received “significant contributions” from Ms. Principal in the past that united the organizations in their efforts to shore up oil-spill prevention and clean-up efforts in Florida’s coastal communities during the BP disaster. Those efforts included deploying “a state-of-the-art underwater robot off Florida’s Gulf Coast to detect any encroaching oil, in order to rally defenses before it reached them.”
The environmental organizations plan to use the additional funds donated by Ms. Principal for their campaigns to stop big oil polluters like BP from drilling and unleashing further damage off the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific coasts. The money will also help fund the push “to require critical scientific assessment and demonstrated oil spill response capability in the Arctic before allowing additional leasing.”
Many environmentalists assert that President Obama’s moratorium on offshore drilling in the wake of BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill was essentially a stall tactic engineered to allow the public’s anger to abate before federal regulators gave BP and other oil giants the green light to drill in the Arctic — an area that has always been off limits to offshore drillers.
As we have blogged in the past, BP’s spill-response plans and worse-case scenarios for their Arctic drilling are every bit as inadequate and irresponsible as its Deepwater Horizon plans, which the old Minerals Management Service (MMS) approved. Scientists have warned that a deep-sea spill in a remote region of the Arctic would be practically unstoppable.
“Americans watched in horror and disbelief as millions of gallons of oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico during the BP disaster nearly two years ago,” NRDC President Frances Beinecke said. “If we’ve learned anything from this tragedy, it’s that we must not allow it to happen again.”