Human rights impacts of oil pollution: US Gulf Coast

Statements & commentaries using human rights framework

Advocates for Environmental Human Rights

  • Statement on the BP Oil Drilling Disaster”, 30 Apr 2010
     
  • What If Kenneth Feinberg Resigned Tomorrow?  The Perils of Ignoring a Rights-Based Recovery for America's Gulf Region”, Monique Harden & Nathalie Walker, Advocates for Environmental Human Rights [undated]
    “Mr. Feinberg has emphasized his discretionary authority over the fund by stating that it is he, not the President or anyone else, who will create the terms for recovery. He also warns that the discretionary fund is a better option for Gulf Region residents than pursuing lawsuits. We take issue with both of Mr. Feinberg's assertions as well as the emerging pattern by both the Bush and the Obama administrations to respond to Hurricane Katrina, subsequent storms, and the BP oil drilling disaster by limiting the recovery of Gulf Region residents and communities to discretionary programs…In contrast to a discretionary approach to disaster recovery, our government has been urged by two treaty-monitoring bodies of the United Nations to implement a human-rights based recovery standard in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina known as the United Nations Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement… Mr. Feinberg's…appointment as a BP oil disaster recovery czar overlooks our right to full recovery that Congress established in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990…According to the statute, BP's liability to pay the full cost of recovery becomes unlimited when its actions leading up to or following the oil drilling disaster meet any one of the five statutory exceptions [including]: 1. gross negligence or willful misconduct; 2. violation of a Federal safety, construction, or operating regulation…; and 5. failure to comply with an order pertaining to unlawful discharges of oil and other hazardous substances from a vessel...”
     
     

Amnesty International USA

  • Human Rights Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill”, Amnesty International USA, 24 May 2010
    “We are deeply concerned about the impacts of the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill on the human rights of affected people in the region....[T]he spill...poses a threat to human rights...in those communities...that are still struggling to recover from severe hurricane damage and who rely...on fisheries or tourism for their livelihoods...Among the human rights at stake are the rights to an adequate standard of living and to gain a living through work, which are threatened by potential damage to the environment...The rights of residents in affected areas to health and a healthy environment are also potentially at risk...”
     
  • Empower Katrina Survivors during BP Oil Spill Clean Up”, Amnesty International USA, Aug 2010
    “The BP Oil Spill has devastated the Gulf Coast… [R]esidents are already facing…unknown long-term health effects and a devastating economic blow to two major industries: fishing and tourism.  Impacted communities face a long recovery process.  Human rights standards guarantee the right of people to be informed of and to participate in the decisions that may affect their rights.  Gulf residents have a right to participate not only in decisions pertaining to the recovery process, but also in assessing the potential impacts of future projects on health, access to clean water and livelihoods.  A Gulf of Mexico Independent Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council, with voting representation for communities of color and low-income communities, and guaranteed funding for its work, would be a strong vehicle for ensuring that participation.”
        
     

Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights

BP Executives' Human-Rights Miscalculation: Have They Bet the Company?”, Raymond Brown, Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis law firm, on DiversityInc, 27 Jul 2010

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Article
27 July 2010

BP Executives' Human-Rights Miscalculation: Have They Bet the Company?

Author: Raymond Brown - Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis law firm, on DiversityInc [USA]

"A fisher[man] who can no longer eat the fish he catches because the water has been polluted...may not know that access to safe and nutritious food is actually a human right..."... Before the recent...Deepwater Horizon [disaster]..., one could assume...

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Article
24 May 2010

Human Rights Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill [USA]

Author: Amnesty International, USA

We are deeply concerned about the impacts of the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill on the human rights of affected people in the region....[T]he spill...poses a threat to human rights...in those communities...that are still struggling to recover from...

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Article
30 April 2010

AEHR Statement on the BP Oil Drilling Disaster [USA]

Author: Advocates for Environmental Human Rights [USA]

...The loss of lives and the looming coastal damage caused by the BP oil drilling disaster demonstrate that our government... oil companies...are not prepared to handle the unique complications of a deep water oil disaster...BP’s focus on limiting its...

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