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BP Oil Spill a Focus of CO Gathering

August 20, 2010

ASPEN, Colo. - The images from the Gulf of Mexico this spring and summer are an area of focus during the four-day AREDAY summit under way in Aspen (the A,R and E stand for "American Renewable Energy"). That focus includes oil-drenched birds and wildlife, tar on beaches and in wetlands, and lifestyles of fishermen and other Gulf workers affected by the BP spill. This year's explosion on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico could have been a wake-up call, says National Wildlife Federation President and CEO Larry Schweiger, a keynote speaker.

"The 'drill baby, drill' theory doesn't work anymore. This has exposed the fallacy of that."

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama and BP officials said the oil no longer posed a threat and the vast majority of it had been removed from the water. But Schweiger says not so fast. After the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, the full impact on the fishery there wasn't felt for at least five years.

"The BP spill in the Gulf is one moment when we should have, as a nation, stepped back and asked, 'What are we doing to ourselves? What are we doing to this incredibly important water resource?'"

The Aspen conference runs through Sunday.

Kathleen Ryan, Public News Service - CO