Environmental Initiatives

Media Inquiries

If you are a journalist and would like additional information, please visit the Media Contacts page.

Media Contacts

Subscribe to News Feeds

Pew offers news delivered to your desktop via RSS feed. Subscribing is easy. To learn more or get started, follow the link below.

Subscribe to News Feeds

For The Record

When Pew’s work is questioned or criticized we respond through letters to the editor or op-eds.

Read Pew's Responses

Safety First

Safety First

Related Experts

  • Marilyn Heiman

    Marilyn Heiman

    Director, U.S. Arctic

    Read bio


See all of our Experts


Marilyn Heiman

Author(s) Description

Director of the Pew Environment Group's offshore energy reform efforts and the U.S. Arctic Program.

Marilyn Heiman responds to Amy Harder's blog Is Any Energy Form Safe? on NationalJournal.com: 

Before the Deepwater Horizon disaster, industry insisted that offshore drilling technology had become so advanced that a blowout was unlikely, if not impossible. Regulators accepted those assurances, and citizens had few tools with which to verify them. As a result, safety officials could not do what was necessary to prevent a catastrophic oil spill, and the Gulf of Mexico and its communities will suffer for decades.

In hundreds of less dramatic and less publicized accidents—like last summer’s pipeline spill that dumped 850,000 gallons of crude oil into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River—the lessons are the same. They tell us over and over again that we need to have strong safety standards, diligent oversight and tested response plans.

Before this country even thinks of expanding drilling in the remote and fragile Arctic Ocean, for example, reforms must ensure that oil companies can respond to significant spills in ice, hurricane-force winds, stormy seas and long periods of fog and darkness.

The United States should aspire to be the world’s leader in safe drilling standards, prevention and response. Despite some good first steps by the Obama administration, we’re not there yet. And sadly, as we approach the one-year anniversary of Deepwater Horizon, Congress still hasn’t passed major legislative reforms to prevent another offshore catastrophe.

It takes only one accident to cause untold human, economic and environmental damage—as we’ve seen, in one incident after another. Oversight agencies need the tools, the financial resources and the political support to regulate these complex industries and ensure that complacency does not set in.


Related News and Resources

Sign In

Member Sign In

Forgot Password?
Submit Not a Member? Join!

Forgot Password?

Send Password Not a Member? Join!

Change Password

(All Fields are required)
Send Message
Share this on: