Dressed in a black business suit with a fake BP badge on the lapel, Sierra Club spokeswoman Donna Hoffman pretended to be a BP company exec giving a press conference after an oil spill.
"I want to reassure everyone that the oil spill, outside of lives lost, is not a big deal," she parodied. "There is no need to think about it, we are in control. We're gonna lower a big, um...steel thingy over the flow. It's gonna take some time, but we are going to get it out, refine it, and then sell it."
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While the theatrics were campy at best and almost lame, the message was clear: oil drilling can be catastrophic to the environment and the Sierra Club is concerned that BP oil execs are taking a cavalier attitude toward the clean-up in the Gulf.
The news conference, held just outside of Reliant Stadium, was the first of 50 such events across the country this week, said Hoffman, culminating in protest in New Orleans on Saturday. Sierra Club, which is calling the BP spill the "nation's worst environmental disaster," is asking President Obama to marshal all necessary resources to aid in the clean-up and for a moratorium on expanding U.S. offshore drilling operations. In addition, Hoffman called on Obama to make sure BP does pay all clean-up costs and hire fisherman and others who are out of work because of the spill.
"We don't want this to happen down in Corpus or around Padre Island," she said. "Offshore drilling is too risky."
When asked whether awareness events like this around the country would have any effect, Hoffman said, "We are trying to mobilize those who are scared, angry and upset. If they make their voices heard, we can make a change."