In the wake of the unraveling BP Oil Disaster, the time has come to set a deadline to phase out oil drilling and fossil fuel extraction.
Countless men and women have for generations dedicated their careers -sometimes risking their lives and their health- to power our hospitals, school buses, homes, and businesses. America owes a debt of gratitude to those in the fuel industry for greatly contributing to the early growth and success of our nation. They deserve our respect. But their welfare remains in peril along with ours until we convert to a clean energy economy.
Aaron Dale Burkeen was a 37 year-old crewmember on the BP Deepwater Horizon oilrig. He died with 10 of his crewmates on April 20th, 2010 when the rig exploded. At his memorial service on May 25th, his family described Dale as a “caring and honorable son, brother, and father.” America can honor him and our many other energy veterans best by creating safe, dignified, and sustainable careers for their children.
Dale is one of many heartbreaking casualties of the BP Oil Disaster. After the deaths of these 11 workers, Americans learned about the scores of crab, oyster, and shrimp fishermen along the Gulf Coast being put out of business, perhaps forever, as a result of the spill. Dolphins, sea turtles, pelicans, and fish are washing ashore dead and soaked in oil. The National Guard and workers are racing against time to erect sandbag walls in hopes of saving miles of fragile wetlands and salt marshes from the oil. Watching aerial video of miles of red streaks across the sea, and giant plumes of oil swirling under the water, it is clear that this nightmare has only just begun.
It didn’t have to be this way..
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