FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2017
David Turnbull, firstname.lastname@example.org
Oil Change International statement on Hurricane Harvey
As super-charged Hurricane Harvey, potentially the strongest hurricane to strike the United States in over a decade, bears down on the Gulf Coast, David Turnbull, Campaigns Director at Oil Change International released the following statement:
“Gulf communities, particularly low-income communities and communities of color, live with the dangers and toxic pollution of the oil and gas industry every day. This weekend those dangers are presenting themselves in the form of a super-charged Hurricane Harvey, made stronger by climate change. If the unfortunate predictions prove correct, vast swaths of Texas and the Gulf Coast will be flooded, lives will be at grave risk, homes will be destroyed, and oil, gas and petrochemical infrastructure will risk leaking toxic pollution all across the region.
“We stand with the communities in the Gulf in their daily push back against the dirty oil and gas industry, and our hearts are with them particularly in these days of acute threats to their lives, homes, and communities.
“We can’t ignore the fact that systemic racism puts communities of color on the front lines of this super-charged storm’s potential devastation, as seen both in the clustering of toxic oil and gas facilities in neighborhoods and the lack of investment in flood protection and resilience.
“Adding insult to injury, reports suggest that the Trump administration’s Border Patrol may keep immigration checkpoints open as long as highways remain open. This will put countless lives at risk as undocumented immigrants are forced to balance the personal safety need to travel away from the storm with the challenges facing them given aggressive enforcement. We call on the Border Patrol to prioritize safety and allow for the free movement of all residents and evacuees regardless of immigration status.”
It’s not too soon to talk about NOT reopening the refineries that have shut down because of the flooding.
The devastation caused by Harvey offers an opportunity to bring together concerns about climate change and the pollution causing it. We must resist including the petroleum industry in any rebuilding funding. Shut down the refineries, start closing some of the port facilities.
This is a wake-up call like no other: A storm caused or exacerbated by climate change has devastated facilities of the industry most involved in causing climate change. Do not rebuild.
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