This is what I've heard about the BP oil spill in the Gulf from a variety of sources, and like me, I'm sure you've noticed everyone is taking every chance they have to say something (now, including me):
While the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico gets worse by the minute, BP continues to dodge the tough questions about what went wrong and what they're doing to fix it.
It's time we got some straight answers. If BP won't give them of their own free will, we must compel them to do so. This week, 18 of my colleagues and I introduced legislation to grant President Obama's bipartisan investigative commission subpoena power that will allow it to uncover the unvarnished truth.
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As the slick approaches more than a hundred miles in either direction, the economic and environmental costs are seemingly immeasurable. Thousands of Gulf Coast residents have already had their livelihoods stolen from them and the region is losing billions in economic productivity. Equally heartbreaking is millions of acres of wetlands -- forty percent of all the wetlands in the country -- that are at risk in the Gulf of Mexico and the hundreds of species threatened by the spill, some possibly with extinction.
This bipartisan commission is our best chance to determine what really happened and to protect us from future disasters. I hope you will stand with me today and send a message to Washington that New York and the nation expect us to act.
I know you share my empathy with the citizens of the Gulf Coast and the concern for the workers that are helping lead the clean-up. Thank you for standing with me as we search for the truth about what caused this tragedy and to help heal the region.
On April 20th, an explosion ripped through BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, about forty miles off the coast of Louisiana. Eleven workers lost their lives. Seventeen others were injured. And soon, nearly a mile beneath the surface of the ocean, oil began spewing into the water.
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Already, this oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced. And unlike an earthquake or a hurricane, it is not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days. The millions of gallons of oil that have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico are more like an epidemic, one that we will be fighting for months and even years.
But make no mistake: we will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whatever’s necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy.
Tonight I’d like to lay out for you what our battle plan is going forward: what we’re doing to clean up the oil, what we’re doing to help our neighbors in the Gulf, and what we’re doing to make sure that a catastrophe like this never happens again.
The built environment has a profound impact on our natural environment, economy, health, and productivity.
In the United States alone, buildings account for:
• 72% of electricity consumption,
• 39% of energy use,
• 38% of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions,
• 40% of raw materials use,
• 30% of waste output (136 million tons annually), and
• 14% of potable water consumption.
More statistics on the built environment in the U.S. and the growing size of USGBC membership and LEED are available in our Green Building Facts document.