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NAACP's Continuing Commitment to Uplifting Civil and Human Rights of Persons Affected by the Deepwater Horizon Macondo Well Oil Spill of 2010

WHEREAS, NAACP has committed to Resolutions on Environmental and Climate Justice in 1993, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2009 and these resolutions dictate sound principles of climate and environmental justice and oppose processes that are damaging to the environment, increase inequity in general, and most especially impact communities of color and low income communities; and

WHEREAS, the Gulf Oil Drilling Disaster of 2010 spilled 205 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico; and

WHEREAS, the NAACP passed an Emergency Resolution and Call to Action in response to the Oil Drilling Disaster at the NAACP 10151 Convention; and

WHEREAS, the Oil Drilling Disaster resulted in economic devastation including significant spiking in rates of unemployment, foreclosure, property and business loss, insurance cancellation, ruined credit ratings, etc.; and

WHEREAS, the Oil Drilling Disaster impacted public health, as evidenced by various symptoms such as skin lesions, gastrointestinal problems, difficulty breathing, and headaches, to name a few, as well as hospitalizations, toxicologists' tests with detection of significant rates of volatile organic compounds in the blood of oil spill clean-up workers and Gulf residents, etc.; and

WHEREAS, the Oil Drilling Disaster continues to have socio-cultural results including: displacement of persons who have moved because of lack of jobs/business or out of fear of permanent detrimental health effects; and erosion of generations of cultural mores connected to land and water for Vietnamese American, Indigenous, Cajun, White American, and African American communities; and

WHEREAS, African Americans were differentially impacted because 1) preĀ­ existing economic vulnerability meant that African Americans left existing low paid jobs due to promises, from recruiters, of well-paid, long term employment which ended up being short term (2-3 months), hazardous poorly safeguarded jobs with poor safety standards; and 2) pre-existing lack of political representation meant that systems of response did not properly incorporate their differential concerns and needs; and

WHEREAS, the NAACP has engaged in multiple activities to address the civil and human rights violations resulting from the Oil Drilling Disaster including the following: released a statement calling for action; conducted and released two investigative studies; sent two letters to the BP CEO calling for action on behalf of communities of the Gulf; sent correspondence to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility requesting systems reform; conducted multiple resource fairs to provide access to financial and social services for affected communities; resolved individual and community problems; catalyzed the establishment of the HBCU Consortium on Sustainability Research and Public Policy; and brokering multiple meetings with BP senior management and federal agencies including the National Institutes of Health, Environmental Protection Agency, the Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and others; and

WHEREAS, while inroads have been made, many issues remain unresolved and some circumstances are actually worsening; and

WHEREAS, oil drilling has resumed in the Gulf, and the risk remains that a similar catastrophe could occur again.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP commits to continuing to advocate for and engage in ongoing monitoring of the oil spill situation in the Gulf, provide assistance to affected communities in education and advocacy, as well as apply pressure to oil companies, and the federal, state and local government; for responsible policies and practices in regard to ongoing oil extraction and processing in the Gulf of Mexico.